Ellen East

Ellen East_current headshot

Ellen East retired from Time Warner Cable, Inc. where she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. She provided strategic counsel on companywide public relations, corporate communications and industry affairs. Ellen oversaw a nationwide staff responsible for media relations, issues management, product communication, financial and public policy communication, employee and leadership communication, community relations and corporate social responsibility.

Ellen joined Time Warner Cable in October 2007 from Cox Communications, Inc., where she served as Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. Prior, Ellen was Assistant City Editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter and editor at a number of daily newspapers.

Ellen is a member of the boards of the T. Howard Foundation, the Families and Work Institute, the Arthur Page Society and The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.  She also serves on the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s Public Affairs committee. Previously, she served as chair of the national board of directors for Women in Cable Telecommunications and as President of the Cable Television Public Affairs Association (now the Association of Cable Communicators). She was a fellow in the 2001 class of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, and subsequently served as chair of that program.

In 2013, Ms. East was inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame. She has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the 2002 Vanguard Award for Young Leadership and the 2013 Vanguard Award for Community and Government Relations, bestowed by the National Cable Telecommunications Association. She has been honored as a “Woman to Watch” and a “Wonder Woman” by Women in Cable Telecommunications and received a “Rainmaker” award from CTAM. She has received two Silver Anvil Awards for issues management and integrated communications from the Public Relations Society of America. Each year, Ellen is listed among the most powerful women in cable by CableFAX: The Magazine.

Ellen graduated from the University of Alabama in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism. In 2012, she was named the University’s Distinguished Alumna in Public Relations, and in 2013, she was honored with the Betsy Plank Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Relations. Ellen serves on the Board of Visitors for the University’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, and as a mentor in Culverhouse Connections, a women’s program in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration.


Our Mission

The Plank Center’s mission is to help develop and recognize outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society. The Center works to achieve its mission by:

Advancing knowledge of leadership values and skills in the profession;

Supporting research, teaching, service, and professional educational efforts that help develop diverse, responsible and trustworthy leaders;

Bridging the interests and vision of the practice and education; and

Collaborating with other groups and associations to nurture the ethical and effective practice of public relations.