Ellen Vial

Ellen Vial

Engagement & Coalitions Manager


Ellen connects Michigan Environmental Council to environmental organizations, its member groups and Michigan residents across the state. She does so by creating and developing coalitions, partnerships and relationships of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

The Detroit resident joined MEC in April 2020 after teaching German at Wayne State University as a graduate teaching assistant. Prior, Ellen served as a program director for ProjectArt, which provides free art classes to children, and as engagement programs manager for Metro Matters, a metro Detroit advocacy organization.

In addition to her role at MEC, Ellen serves as founder and co-director of Dance for Democracy and board member of Vote Detroit, both voter participation organizations. 

Complementing the Royal Oak native’s experiences are a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan in international relations - global health and the environment and a masters degree in German from Wayne State University.

While Ellen’s favorite natural places are along Lake Michigan, she likes Detroit a lot, too. She considers WSU’s McGregor Reflecting Pool a serene hidden gem, Motown her favorite Michigan product and “We Almost Lost Detroit” by Gil Scott-Heron among her favorite songs.

When away from work, Ellen enjoys biking, dancing with friends, listening to the radio, learning the etymologies of words and spending time with her roommates and friends, Gus, Ben and cat Gamma Ray.