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Ellen Davis
Ellen Davis

Ellen Davis

SVP, Research and Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director, NRF Foundation

Ellen Davis is senior vice president of the National Retail Federation (NRF) and executive director of the NRF Foundation. In this role, she has restructured the NRF Foundation to more closely align with NRF’s strategic plan, and created a new mission and vision for the NRF Foundation to revolve around initiatives which shape retail’s future. Davis oversees a team of professionals who build awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; develop talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and foster career growth among people who work in retail.

Davis led the team responsible for the conceptualization and launch of Retail Jobs powered by NRF, an industry-specific job board that showcases the array of career opportunities in the retail industry. Her team also manages the Retail Insight Center, a web-based hub for retail industry data; and the Talent Acquisition Group, a network for retail professionals to share ideas and best practices in an effort to tackle the talent challenges of the retail industry.

Under Davis’ leadership, the NRF Foundation has tripled university membership and successfully added a Student Program to NRF’s signature events, Retail’s BIG Show and the Summit, to demonstrate the diversity of careers in retail. Since her appointment, the NRF Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in student scholarships, in addition to full-tuition scholarships for retail workers through NRF’s Dream BIG Scholarship.

As a chief spokesperson for NRF on retail industry trends, Davis has appeared on dozens of broadcast news programs including Your World with Neil Cavuto, CNBC's Squawk Box, and Good Morning America, and been quoted numerous times in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. She has appeared as a featured speaker at industry conferences including the National Confectioners Association’s Candy EXPO and the National Stationery Show, and more than a dozen college campuses.

After coining the phrase “Cyber Monday,” which is now considered the official kickoff of the online holiday shopping season, Davis was named one of “15 to watch” by PR Week magazine.

Davis joined NRF in 2002 as manager of media relations and continued in positions of greater responsibility in the communications and public affairs department before assuming her current position in 2012. She graduated with a degree in communication from Millikin University in Decatur, IL.

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