Melina Dunham, graduated in International Public Management
- Melina Dunham
What is your role and main responsibilities?
I am currently a part of the founding team of Ecogenia, a growing nonprofit in Greece. We are a nascent initiative and our mission is to develop a year-long pad service program, much like Unis-Cité in France, for unemployed 18-28 year olds in Greece. Through the program, they work for an organization or company on a sustainability project that addresses critical community needs. As the program and development strategist, I am responsible for fundraising, stakeholder engagement and building up the programming for our pilots. The team has a very horizontal structure, though, so we all contribute to all the different aspects of the work. We are currently running a crowdfunding campaign for our seed funding, hosting a speakers series, and launching to pilot programs in different regions of Greece.
How did you secure this role?
I met one of the co-founders, Lia, at an event I hosted. It was a conversation around social impact entrepreneurship and CSR. We immediately hit it off, and a week later I was part of the team.
What is the most fascinating and/or surprising aspect at your role?
The experience of working with a startup has been incredibly formative. Being a part of a team that is so committed and motivated to build up this initiative is humbling. It has only been a bit more than a month, and I have already witnessed just how much it takes to found a non-profit.
How did your PSIA experience help you with the role?
It is hard to distill everything that I gained from my time at PSIA. What’s certain is that my experience, inside and outside the classroom, instilled in me the critical value of collaboration, especially for social impact work. My courses provided me the foundation I needed to work with stakeholder engagement, strategic thinking, and making the case for important development work.
What advice would you give to others?
Always say yes to a conversation or opportunity to connect with someone. Be curious!