In 2001, Ellie defends the actions of the Surgeon General Dr. Millicent Griffith, who had given an interview about medical marijuana and seemed to reverse the administrations stance on drugs although Dr. Griffith only spoke about the medical aspects not the legal aspects. In response, Ellie calls Danny Concannon and tells him that her father would never fire Dr. Griffiths. By calling Danny, Ellie breaks the rules of press set by the President, as she didn't speak to anyone before contacting him to get the statement approved. This caused the president to call her to the White House and reprimand her. President Bartlet learns from a conversation with Dr. Griffith that Ellie had always felt as the least favorite of his daughters, which is why there had always been a strain on their relationship. Dr. Griffith helps him examine his relationship as she has an inside glimps because she is Ellie's godmother. She helps Jed see how to relate to his middle daughter, which causes Jed to see Dr Griffith is a valuable asset to his staff and refuses her resignation which he had earlier asked for. Jed tells Josh that when CJ talks to the press she can show their full support and mean it. Jed then renews his relationship with his daughter although the relationship was always good he just needed an outside view to see it.
After Zoey is taken hostage, Ellie arrives at the White House along with Elizabeth's family to support her parents. As her mother continue to blame Jed for Zoey's kidnapping she attempts to console her father. After Zoey is rescued she reunites with her in the hospital.
Her career comes under scrutiny when Republican Congresswoman Barbara Layton begins a campaign against National Institutes of Health funded projects on Sexual Transmitted Diseases. Ellie's research on cases of Human papillomavirus in Puerto Rican sex workers becomes the focus of the attack. Her father attempts to get Ellie to make a statement on the important of scientific freedom but her fear of public speaking prevents her from doing so. After seeing her mother play a doctor on an episode of Sesame Street to explain her return to the medical profession, Ellie decides to make a speech to the White Hose Press Corps defending her own research and arguing the importance of free scientific research.
Towards the end of her father's second term Ellie becomes engaged to Vic Faison, a researcher who specializes in Fruit Flies. The engagement comes as a surprise to her parents, as both were under the impression that Ellie might be gay. While discussing the wedding, Ellie reveals that the ceremony would need to be soon because she is pregnant. The scale of the wedding planning proves to be a lot for the couple, especially since there is concurrently an escalating situation that might end in war between China and Russia. This causes several delays on the wedding day and the President asks the Chinese President to remember his own daughters wedding so that the possible World War III may be delayed long enough so that he may walk Ellie down the aisle.
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Johns Hopkins University
- Her godmother is Surgeon General Dr. Millicent Griffith
- Nina Siemaszko was one of the many actors of The West Wing to have previously been in The American President, a film written by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin