Melissa joined Microsoft 6 years ago when Microsoft was expanding its programming from a mostly domestic focus to a more coherent and focused global program. She was first involved in Microsoft’s Community Affairs work from headquarters and then was asked to bring the programming to subsidiaries throughout Central and Eastern Europe and so relocated to regional headquarters in Munich. Melissa has also worked in the civic sector, launching NGO Aspiration, with support of the Soros Foundation. Melissa has as well an extensive background in international grant making and development, as an early staff person for Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation, and, in the late 1990s, managing municipal development programs for USAID, in Washington DC and Central Europe. She has also held positions in state and local government.
Melissa has an Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Washington and is a graduate of Vassar College in New York.