Ellen Fishbein

VP, Foundation Consulting & Management

Ellen Fishbein

As an accomplished tax attorney and business/legislative advisor, Ellen’s legal and business skills are particularly well-suited to the needs of Sterling’s Private Foundation and Donor-Advised Fund clients. Her ability to assess and understand clients’ administrative needs and philanthropic goals, identify comprehensive solutions, and implement strategies enables her to advise foundations on governance, operational policies, and effective charitable giving. By ensuring compliance with all administrative obligations and complex prohibited transaction rules, Ellen enables donors to stay focused on their philanthropic visions without the distraction of administrative compliance or the worry of running afoul of complicated IRS regulations.

Ellen’s career began in the private practice of law in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., where she focused on business and tax law involving the organization, operation, acquisition, and sale of corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships. After private practice, Ellen served as Vice President of Tax Policy and Associate General Counsel for America Online (later to become AOL Time Warner), where she focused on Federal, state, and international tax policy issues impacting AOL.

An avid supporter of the arts, Ellen has been deeply involved with the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, an organization dedicated to providing memorable performing arts experiences for diverse audiences. Ellen served on the Wolf Trap Associates Board of Directors in a variety of positions from 2002-2008, including Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, and Co-Chairman of the Wolf Trap Ball. She also served on the Wolf Trap Foundation Board from 2006-2008 and currently serves on the Wolf Trap Alumnae Board. In addition, Ellen served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Torpedo Factory’s Art League Board of Directors from 2009-2011.

Ellen graduated from Brandeis University (B.A. 1983, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Duke University School of Law (J.D. 1986), and Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M. Taxation, with distinction, 1990).