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Executive Director


Melanie Bixby's professional career at the State Department has focused on cross-border cooperation, foreign assistance and global issues, and she brings more than two decades of regional experience spanning South Asia, Central Asia and Africa. Melanie oversaw U.S. foreign assistance issues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee staff through a Brookings Institution LEGIS Fellowship. As a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, she led a graduate seminar on U.S. policy and program at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University through the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Melanie holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and has received State Department Superior Honor Awards for leadership on new initiatives.

Program Coordinator


Samssa Ali has more than four years of international development experience. She is currently the Program Coordinator of the US-Pakistan Women’s Council.

Samssa started her career at Aga Khan Foundation USA working in donor relations. Then moved to Aga Khan Foundation Egypt where she gained experience on proposal development. In Cairo, she helped write a wining $4.4 million USAID proposal. She went on to manage the start-up of the USAID funded project during Egypt’s transitional government; one year after the fall of Hosni Mubarak and before Egypt's first national presidential election. Samssa also has experience as a volunteer English teacher, working with refugees as they transition to life in the US.

Samssa graduated from Baylor University in 2007 with a BA in International Studies with a focus in the Middle East.