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NEW YORK, NY – January 11, 2020 -- The PRSA Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion within the communications profession, announced today that it has appointed Dr. Aerial Ellis as its President.

A rising leader within the communications profession, Dr. Ellis is an entrepreneur, educator and dedicated advocate of improving diversity, equity and inclusion within public relations.

She was elected to serve as President by the PRSA Foundation’s Board of Directors following her appointment by the organization’s nominating committee. She had previously served on the PRSA Foundation Board as a representative of the PRSA National Board. She succeeds Joe Cohen following the completion of his tenure as President.

“The PRSA Foundation has a significant opportunity to build on past efforts and accelerate toward greater action. Our students need us now more than ever. We must channel every effort to those who will benefit most. I am honored to lead and humbled to serve. There is no time greater than this,” said Ellis.

Dr. Ellis is managing principal of Advisory 83, a communication consultancy committed to helping build sustainable and authentic organizations through strategic planning and curriculum development. She is also CEO of My Village Votes, a market research firm that partners with advocacy, civic and non-profit organizations to improve consumer and civic engagement catered to the insights of communities of color.

In addition, Dr. Ellis is an Assistant Professor of PR and PRSSA Chapter adviser at Lipscomb University. An active member of PRSA, Dr. Ellis recently served as Senior Counsel to the organization’s National Board of Directors. She is a Co-Chair for the Champions for PRSSA, a professional development initiative for students in public relations. She is also a fellow of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and a co-founder of the Nashville Women of Color in Communications Network.

A native of Memphis, Aerial has a bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University and a master's degree from Middle Tennessee State University - both in communication/ journalism, holds a certification in workforce diversity and inclusion from UCLA and the National Organization for Workforce Diversity, and holds a doctoral degree from the Global Executive Doctor of Education program at the University of Southern California.



About the PRSA Foundation 

The PRSA Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) charity, supports outreach to diverse students to attract them to PR and make them better prepared to contribute to the profession, and to society, when they enter the workforce through partnerships with leading universities and professional organizations. For more information regarding the PRSA Foundation, its activities and its full board of trustees, visit



Josette Robinson

Prosek Partners

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