May 12, 2021 – The Executive Committee of the Dominican Sisters Conference (DSC) is delighted to announce that Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP (Sinsinawa) will become the next Executive Director of the DSC beginning July 1. Mary Ellen is very familiar to many Dominicans having served as the Interim Executive Director since April of 2020, and who comes to the position with 13 years of experience with the Dominican Leadership Conference as Executive Director. 

Anne Lythgoe, OP, (Peace) President of DSC said, “We could not be more delighted that Mary Ellen will continue to serve in her very inclusive and imaginative way. Her experience and leadership skills will give DSC the steady hand and creative energy we are looking for that will help give shape to the way DSC serves Dominicans in the US going forward.”

In accepting the position, Mary Ellen said, “I am grateful for the support and encouragement of the DSC Executive Committee and staff. I am happy and energized to be part of the continued evolution and emergence of the Dominican Sisters Conference as the Elected Leaders, Associates, and Sisters move forward into the future of Dominican Life and Mission together.”

The DSC is the networking organization for elected leaders and members of 19 Dominican congregations in the US. It is currently in the process of naming a new core leadership group of sisters under 70. “Our hope is that these women will steward, or shepherd, the common futuring movement of Dominican Sisters in the United States across DSC congregations”, said Sr. Anne.  “Part of Mary Ellen’s role will be to work with the core group as they formulate what the next steps will be on a common pathway. As we said before, our hope for the core leadership group is that they can make real and concrete a shared vision of Dominican Life and Mission.”

Mary Ellen is responsible to oversee the administrative, financial, and programming aspects of DSC as well as its sponsored projects.  She works closely with the DSC Staff, which includes Dusty Farnan, OP, (Adrian) DLC NGO Representative at the United Nations, Ashley Apollonio, (Peace) Editor of, and MaDonna Thelen, Associate (Sinsinawa) Administrative Assistant.

The DSC mission is to “unite the sisters and associates of US congregations in their mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ standing as a clear voice for truth justice and peace.”  For more information visit our website at