Professor Ellen M. Zavian began her career in sports when she was a student at the University of Maryland where she worked in the university’s intramural sports and recreation department while working at the Maryland Race Tracks in the promotional department on weekends. While earning her law degree, she interned at the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).
Soon after graduation, she became the first female attorney/agent in the NFL. She has represented the US Women’s Soccer and, Softball gold medalists and extreme athletes, collectively, and held the title of Commissioner for the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (NCAA). She served as coordinator for the NFLPA’s Native American project; is a nationally recognized journalist, and a court expert in licensing/sports agreements. She has served on many sports related committees, including the DC Bar’s Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Section and co-created the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Sports & Entertainment committee.
She teaches sports/event law at George Washington University’s business school and law school (Moot Court) while serving her clients in the sports industry and conducting arbitrations. She also teaches entrepreneurship and leadership, with a focus on start-ups. Her son’s passion led her to create the United Breakin Association, a global association for competitive break dancers and worked on a task force to get break dancing into the Youth Olympics 2018 and the Paris 2024 Olympics.
White House and DOE – appointed Chair of the eSport track at the 2019 HBCU Conference. Author of eSport – The Emerging Workforce & Regulations of eSports and an advisory board member of GYO, an eSport platform, an advisory board member of Spry, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the esportsandthelaw.com and mylegalbookie, and contributing esports expert to the Washington Post/The Launcher. She has been selected as the sole American, appointed to the FIFA Player Counsel representative roster, in 2019, serves as a Judge for Stadia Venture, and a GLG expert. In 2021, she was appointed as a Trustee to the Safe Sport International organization and named Who’s Who for Sports and Gaming by the WWL organization.
She was raised in New Jersey, as the third child of Berj Zavian (Antique Roadshow Appraiser) and Joan Zavian (teacher) and part of a 3rd generation family business. Her schooling included Maywood Elementary School and Hackensack High School, participating in track & field, volleyball, and cheerleading, while spending her summers at the Jersey Shore. She is married, lives in Maryland, and has a son that plays ultimate frisbee, golf, and breakdances.