Mary Ellen Russell was appointed Executive Director of the Maryland Catholic Conference in November 2008. The Conference represents the public-policy interests of the Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, which include the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. Mrs. Russell has also served as an associate director and deputy director of the Conference since joining the staff in 1995, focusing primarily on coordinating legislative advocacy efforts affecting Maryland’s Catholic and other nonpublic schools.
Mrs. Russell is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, a board member of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, and past co-chair of the Maryland State Superintendent’s Nonpublic Schools Workgroup. Mrs. Russell also worked for several years as Assistant Secretary for Parental Advocacy at the USCCB.
Mrs. Russell holds an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, and a B.A. in English from Boston College. She and her husband live in Annapolis, where they have raised four sons. Her husband is a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and serves at the Catholic Community of South Baltimore.