Tracy Ellis-Ward will lead Pacers Sports & Entertainment as its first senior vice president of diversity, equity, & inclusion. (photo courtesy of Pacers Sports & Entertainment)

Pacers Sports & Entertainment has hired Tracy Ellis-Ward as its first senior vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ellis-Ward previously worked for the BIG EAST Conference, where she served as chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer and senior associate commissioner since 2015.

Ellis-Ward will report directly to PS&E President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Fuson. The organization says she will work to establish and lead its strategic DEI vision and metrics as well as drive initiatives to meet those goals.

“This is immensely important work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to join an organization that understands diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to making our company and community better,” said Ellis-Ward. “Over the course of my career, I have welcomed roles that are ‘firsts’ within organizations, and I am excited about leading efforts and working with committed PS&E colleagues.”

During her tenure at the Big EAST Conference, Ellis-Ward was responsible for developing and implementing the conference’s strategic plan, new external partnerships and initiatives, and leading social justice and civic engagement programming.

“We have worked hard to make DEI core to the PS&E culture for all employees, and we are fortunate to have someone with Tracy’s experience and expertise to build upon the important steps we have taken,” said Fuson. “Her knowledge of these important issues, understanding of the sports industry, and Midwest roots made her a terrific fit for our organization, and we are excited about all she will add to the PS&E family.”

In addition to the BIG EAST Conference, PS&E says Ellis-Ward has held several executive-level positions in athletics and higher education. She has been senior associate athletics director of internal operations at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, director of the Unity Multicultural Education Center at Gonzaga University, and vice president of women’s basketball and sports leadership ministries for NBC Camps.

Ellis-Ward is expected to officially join the Indianapolis-based organization on January 6.