Ellen Galinsky

Ellen Galinsky

Chief Science Officer

Bezos Family Foundation

Santa Fe, NM USA

It’s about knowing what your passions are and following the questions that you have.


By Roadtrip Nation

Ellen Galinsky

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My road in life has been direct.
I grew up in West Virginia, which didn’t have great schooling options for me, but my mother constantly inspired me to learn and work hard.
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was younger—but I’m glad I didn’t know because it left me more open to the different opportunities life brings.
I studied to be a lawyer, but when I was a sophomore in college, I realized I was unhappy with my courses because I was constantly stuck in the library—I wanted my learning to be more balanced.
After realizing how unhappy I was, I pleaded with a child development professor—I had always been interested in childhood learning—to let me into one of her courses, which completely changed my life.
I switched my major to child studies and worked as a researcher along with my peers, as the field was relatively new—most professionals had been more interested in studying adults.
As a senior in college, I went to conferences to figure out which sectors held the professionals I respected most and would want to work with.
After graduating from Vassar College, I went on to get my master’s degree in education and child development.
In addition to serving as chief science officer for the Bezos Family Foundation and president of the Families and Work Institute, I’ve published multiple books, including “Six Stages of Parenthood.”
Keep following my journey


Child Development
Vassar College
Child Development
Bank Street College of Education
High School


Chief Science Officer

I listen to the voices of children and families in order to develop research reports.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

My work focuses on identifying important societal questions as they emerge in the adult, children, and family sectors. I conduct research to answer those questions based on the voices on children and families. I will then turn my findings into action by authoring educational and informative books, articles, and reports.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Passion and empathy for children and adolescents. Ability to adapt and realize that research is always changing. Willingness to question assumptions.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Find the subjects you're most passionate about and follow the questions you have in those fields. Find the people who hold the same spark as you and work alongside them. Work is about being able to support yourself but it's also very important to do what you love and have a purpose and passion.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Women shouldn't be taken as seriously as men."

Challenges I Overcame

Socio-Economic Origin
Changed Major