If hired, Ellis would become the first woman to manage a Major League Soccer team.
The list of candidates also includes Jason Kreis and David Wagner, reports Pablo Maurer of The Athletic. D.C. United's coaching search is in the "early stages," Carlisle adds.
The club is looking for a new bench boss following Ben Olsen's dismissal last week. Olsen was at the helm since 2010, and he's expected to remain with the organization in another capacity. Chad Ashton will serve as interim manager for a team that sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Ellis, 54, enjoyed a trophy-filled five-and-a-half-year spell with the USWNT, leading the Americans to World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019 before stepping down after the latter tournament.
Though she often faced criticism over her lineup choices - and oversaw the disappointing quarterfinal exit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro - Ellis' teams were dominant as she compiled a 106-7-19 record during her time as the U.S. boss.
Since resigning from her role with the squad, Ellis has worked with U.S. Soccer as an ambassador.