Interfaith America

Mary Ellen Giess headshot


Mary Ellen Giess is Chief Innovation Officer at Interfaith America, a Chicago-based nonprofit that inspires, equips, and connects institutions and leaders to unlock the potential of American religious diversity. In her role, Mary Ellen oversees innovative and collaborative program opportunities with a focus on democracy and bridgebuilding initiatives, corporate engagement, and faith & health programming.

Mary Ellen has more than a decade of nonprofit management and leadership, serving in a variety of leadership roles at Interfaith America since joining the organization in 2008. A longtime bridgebuilder focused on integrating research and practice, Mary Ellen manages many of IA’s most significant external partnerships, including our multi-year program partnership with the Obama White House, a five-year research partnership on religious diversity in higher education (IDEALS), and currently, our national collaboration with YMCA of the USA, Habitat for Humanity International, and Catholic Charities USA (The Team Up Project).