Melanie’s life-long dedication to social justice, hands on international policy research and private sector entrepreneurship fuel her passionate dedication to multi-sector collaboration, and functional vision of The Global Summit. At 20, she began advancing theories linking population, environmental scarcity and poverty, advocating multi-sector collaboration and community empowerment.
Inspired by research and related programs in Africa, she founded Empowerment Works (EW) in 2001. Her training in transformational mediation and international negotiations further contributed to EW’s “7 Stages to Sustainability” approach to Asset Based Community Development. Melanie recently taught and launched the 7 Stages to Sustainability curriculum (Fall 2009) to 90+ young women leaders in China for the World Academy for the Future of Women. In April 2007, Melanie produced the first national press-conference on Colony Collapse Disorder, “Bees, Bio diversity and Food Security” which brought world renowned expert insights on sustainable agriculture, critical food security and bio-diversity to the mainstream media via immediate coverage in the LA Times and Live on NBC.
In concert with building Empowerment Works, Melanie is the Founder/CEO of BioNova™ Medical Corporation, for which she authored patents for HIV/AIDS and managed research with City of Hope and UCLA AIDS Institute. A major inspiration, Melanie’s late father, Edward Halimi was an inventor of multiple environmental technologies. Seeing his challenges, she realized the need for mass collaboration and public involvement in taking break-through solutions to scale. Melanie holds a Masters degree of Public Administration in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and BA in International Relations & Diplomacy from Schiller International University in Madrid, Spain. A global citizen at heart, Melanie speaks French and Spanish and has lived and conducted research throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and Central America.