We are very pleased to announce that following an extensive search process, Dr Ellen Skladzien has been appointed CEO of Down Syndrome Australia (DSA).
Dr Skladzien has extensive experience in advocacy, leadership and strategic management positions within the not-for-profit sector. She has expertise in driving change in the disability, health and aged care system through evidenced-based advocacy.
Ellen most recently was the Senior Executive Manager of Policy, Programs and Communications at Alzheimer’s Australia. During her time at Alzheimer’s Australia she has led the advocacy work of the organisation which resulted in dementia being recognised as a national health priority, funding for improvements to the health care system for people with dementia, and most recently support for a program to tackle social isolation and stigma associated with dementia.
Ellen has a Master’s degree in Clinical Neuropsychology and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Washington University in St Louis. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and been a lecturer for courses in Statistics, Experimental Psychology and Developmental Psychology.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Ellen’s background, skills and capability join us at DSA. Ellen is passionate about ensuring that the voices of people with lived experience are at the centre of the work she does”, said Angus Graham, Chairman of DSA. At Alzheimer’s Australia, Ellen led a number of initiatives to support people with dementia to set priorities and strategy in advocacy, programs and research including setting up the first Consumer Dementia Research Network in Australia.
Ellen, who will start with DSA on the 17th October, is currently based in Canberra and will re-locate to Adelaide in December. She is married to Tom and together they have two young children, Lilah who is 17 months, and Emy who is 4 years old.