The inaugural Center director is Melissa L. Bradley. Melissa is a tri-sector leader with more than 20 years of entrepreneurship, investment and leadership experience. Bradley served as a Presidential Appointee under Presidents Clinton and Obama. Under Clinton, Melissa served as Financial Regulatory Affairs Fellow at the Department of Treasury, Office of Thrift Supervision. Under Obama, she was Chief Strategy Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service, served at the Department of Education and was responsible for securing over $20 million in public-private partnerships to support national service and My Brother’s Keeper. From 2014-2015 she served as Acting Director of the Social Innovation Fund, a White House Initiative committed to scaling ‘what works’ in local communities.
Prior to serving her country, Melissa served as CEO of Tides, an international social enterprise that partners with donors, doers and investors to sustain social, racial, economic and environmental justice in the U.S. and beyond. Prior to Tides, Melissa served as a Senior Adviser to the Center for American Progress on environmental policy and investment strategies, as well as a regular consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on their Family Economic Security and Civic Engagement portfolios. She also served as a Senior Strategist for Green For All. In this role she created the Capital Access Program to support emerging minority entrepreneurs in the environmental sector and assisted in the creation of the Energy Efficiency Opportunity Fund and the Green Jobs Award Program.
Melissa has been a serial entrepreneur as Founder and Managing Director of New Capitalist, an organization that facilitated over $20 million in venture capital transactions for seed stage companies. She is also founder of The Entrepreneurial Development Institute, an international, non-governmental entrepreneurship organization, serving youth, ages 7 to 21, and their families, with 16 satellite offices throughout the United States and three international locations.
Melissa’s private sector experience began at the Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae) in Washington, DC. Other corporate experience includes her role as Director of Investment Services at CIT GAP Funds, which provides seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology and life science companies, and as a Vice President at UBS in the Private Client Group, where she was responsible for developing and releasing online properties to increase wallet share from high net-worth clients, including a bond trading platform and a charitable giving portal.
Melissa holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance from the School of Business at Georgetown University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Marketing from American University Kogod School of Business.