Ellen Rosenthal

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors
Ellen Rosenthal: Board of Visitors

Education

  • Carnegie Mellon University, MPM with High Distinction, Public Management, 1984
  • H.F. DuPont Winterthur Program, University of Delaware, MA, American Culture, 1978
  • Barnard College, Columbia University, BA, magna cum laude, Art History, 1975

Biography

Ellen Rosenthal shares expertise from a 40-year career in the museum field as a consultant to museums and other nonprofit organizations in Indiana and nationally. She received a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, NY, MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware, and Masters of Public Management from Carnegie Melon University, Pittsburgh. She also completed graduate level coursework at The Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh.

Ellen retired in 2016 after 12 years as President and CEO of Conner Prairie, a living history museum in Fishers, IN. There she transformed the museum at all levels — applying a strategic positioning approach and focus on family learning. What had been a traditional living-history museum became an industry leader as a successful, immersive and interactive destination.

Under Ellen’s leadership, Conner Prairie received the nation’s highest honor for museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Medal, and became Indiana’s first Smithsonian Affiliate. From a field of 18,000 museums, the authors of the book Magnetic: The Art and Science of Engagement (2013) featured Conner Prairie as one of six case studies of museums demonstrating prolonged business success and “tangible cultural and civic value.” In 2012, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $2.3 million to Conner Prairie to develop, mount and test an exhibit blending hands-on science and history: NSF’s largest grant to a history museum to date.

Ellen has lectured frequently at museums, universities and conferences. She is the author of Conner Prairie: Immersion-Engagement-Curiosity (2015) and chapters in museum books including, Serving Children When Parents Come Along (2010) and Conversations Across Time: Family Learning at a Living History Museum (2002 with Jane Hetrick).

Prior to Conner Prairie, Ellen held positions of increasing responsibility at American History Workshop (museum consultant firm), Boston, MA, John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, Pittsburgh, PA, Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, and the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN.

Ellen lives in Indianapolis with her husband Dr. Theodore Logan, an oncologist at the Indiana University Medical Center. They have three adult sons.

Research Interests

Museum philanthropy and public perception of museums as charitable organizations

Honors & Awards

  • Sagamore of the Wabash, 2015 and 2016
  • Distinguished Hoosier, Office of the Governor, State of Indiana, 2006
  • Tribute, House of Representatives, for “Outstanding Service to Conner Prairie,” 2015
  • Leading Light, Women in High Tech,
  • Excellence in Innovation, Indiana Innovation Award, 2012
  • Trailblazers Award, Commitment to Creativity, University High School,
  • Torchbearers Award, Indiana Commission for Women,
  • Woman of Influence, Indiana Business Journal, 2008

Other Activities

  • Indiana Landmarks Historic Sites Task Force
  • Temple Heritage Center, Board of Directors
  • Museum Accreditation Reviewer, American Alliance of Museums