Since graduating from East High School, Class of 1986, Ellie Sue Schafer has garnered a distinguished career in politics and federal government service. While at East High, she participated in varsity basketball and track and field. She graduated from the University of Denver, majoring in communications. Soon after, Ellie attended the University of California at Los Angeles, majoring in production and film development.
Using her training in communication and film production, Ellie entered the world of work as head of her own entrepreneurial challenge, “Schafer Campaigns.” In that role Ellie sharpened her skills in field organizing, media relations, get-out-the-vote strategies, and emerging with the reputation as a go-to consultant for dozens of political races, ballot measures, and legislative projects. In the late 1990’s Ellie’s career took a new direction when she focused on advance and logistical work for political campaigns, foundations, and national world leaders. These included President Bill Clinton, Former Vice- President Albert Gore and his wife Tipper, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In 2006, Ellie accompanied then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama on the tour promoting the Senator’s book, The Audacity of Hope.
A year later, when Senator Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States, Ellie was on his team from day one. Upon President Obama’s election and inauguration, Ellie was tapped to serve the 44th President of the United States at the White House as Director of the White House Visitor’s Office.
Running the White House Office, Schafer oversees a paid staff of eight and more than 1,000 volunteers. The Visitors’ Office organizes and oversees the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and the spring and fall garden tours. Her office also manages official state arrival for leaders and heads of state from Mexico, China, Germany, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
In 2010, Out Magazine” named Schafer as “...one of the 100 most influential men and women who inspired, shaped, and changed the world in 2010.” In addition to her official duties, Ellie also has been entrusted by the Obamas to open her office to the “First Dog,” where the canine is known to bunk down for an afternoon nap and grab a refreshing bowl of new water upon awakening.