Ellen Davis is president of the NRF Foundation and senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Retail Federation.
A well-respected retail thought leader, Davis has more than 15 years of experience in strategic communications, research, talent acquisition and development, and organizational change management. She is one of the people widely credited with coining the phrase “Cyber Monday,” now considered the official kickoff of the online holiday shopping season, and has appeared on dozens of broadcast news programs including “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” CNBC's “Squawk Box” and “Good Morning America.”
In her role as president of the NRF Foundation, Davis oversees a team charged with shaping retail’s future through awareness building, training and education, and scholarship programs. She previously served as executive director of the Foundation, restructuring the organization in her first year at the helm in 2012 to create better alignment with NRF’s strategic plan and programs. Within three years, she and her team launched the annual NRF Foundation Gala, which has raised nearly $7 million to date; awarded over $1 million in student scholarships; tripled university membership; added Student Programs to signature NRF events; and formed the Talent Acquisition Group, a network of more than 60 talent acquisition executives from the nation’s most well-known retailers. In 2017, Davis led the launch of RISE Up, the Foundation’s training and credentialing program to help people secure jobs in retail and advance into meaningful careers. More than 26,000 individuals went through RISE Up training in the program’s first year.
As senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives, Davis leads the Retail Research and Analysis Center, created in the spring of 2015, which serves as the hub for economic, legislative and regulatory policy, consumer and industry research. The Center brings together all existing research within NRF and expand upon the wide range of issue areas and trends already studied.
Davis joined NRF in 2002 as manager of media relations and rose quickly through the organization on the Communications and Public Affairs team before assuming her current roles.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Millikin University and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.