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Executive Director

Melanie Bixby

Serving on a detail from the U.S. Department of State, Executive Director Melanie J. Bixby brings senior policy and program expertise to the Council. Her regional experience spans South and Central Asia, Africa, and Global Issues. As a Brookings Institution LEGIS Fellow on the House Foreign Affairs Committee staff, Melanie also conducted oversight of U.S. foreign assistance, including Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts.  As a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, Melanie led a graduate seminar on U.S. policy and programs at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she served as an Adjunct Professor with the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Before joining the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow, Melanie received her Master's Degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law. Melanie is the recipient of five State Department Superior Honor Awards for new initiatives, including for women's economic empowerment.

Program Coordinator


Mahveen Azam has extensive experience in project design, operational and budget management with three years in USAID and Corporate funded projects and five and a half years in Pakistan’s private sector. She holds seven years of journalism experience - building bridges between the US and South Asia - as a news reporter, producer, content writer, host for roundtable discussions, and news anchor at Voice of America, Washington DC. The issues ranged from extremism, human rights, women’s rights, economic development, youth unemployment, and current affairs. She was the only reporter tasked with covering the USAID and the World Bank funded projects in Pakistan. As part of her knowledge management, research and content development work, she has produced key products including website content, success stories, brochures, fact-sheets, impact snapshots, content for newsletters, etc. Throughout her career, she has relied upon her strong interpersonal skills for project management, effective coordination, business development and relationship management with stakeholders, clients, high level government officials, civil society actors and local and regional teams in Pakistan, US and West Africa. She has been recognized for her role in maintaining team spirit, task coordination and focusing on the end goal during critical times. She is fluent in English, Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi and has field experiences in Pakistan, Liberia, and Qatar. She has a Masters degree in International Relations from Georgetown University’s Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service.