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Ellen McDermott

Interim Executive Director

Ellen McDermott is Project for Public Spaces' Interim Executive Director. In her day-to-day work, she ensures that the organization’s daily operations support the organization’s mission, its staff, and its financial health. She also works with the other executive leadership team to provide vision and strategic planning that connect the mission to the organization’s daily work. 

Before coming to Project for Public Spaces, Ellen served as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of Transportation Alternatives, which advocates for better streets for walking, biking, and public transit in New York City. From November 2018 through August 2019, she served as one of Transportation Alternatives' co–interim executive directors. Previously, Ellen worked at OpenPlans, Honeybee Robotics, BusyInternet, CitySearch, and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.

Ellen’s favorite place in New York City is the great outdoors, on the thousands of miles of streets and sidewalks that make up the majority of New York's public space. She lives in midtown Manhattan.


BA in English, Amherst College 

MA in Text & Performance Studies, King’s College London