Melinda Kramer is an accomplished social entrepreneur, environmental leader, fundraiser, and nonprofit founder and director. An environmentalist by training, with a cultural anthropology background, she has worked around the world at the intersection of environmental sustainability, women's economic development, and gender justice. In 2005, she and her colleagues set out to bridge the resource gap for grassroots women tackling our world’s most critical environmental and climate challenges. What began as a small convening of 30 women leaders from 26 countries grew into Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), a 15-year international organization and thriving global network training and elevating the critical work of women environmental entrepreneurs and advocates. WEA was recognized as a top non-profit in the Huffington Post in the field of entrepreneurship, awarded a United Nations Association Global Citizen Award, and has been featured in publications like GRIST, Ms. Magazine, and Jane Fonda’s climate book What Can I Do.
Before co-founding Women's Earth Alliance, Melinda worked with CARE International in Kenya on sustainable development and agriculture. Later her work took her throughout the North Pacific Rim with Pacific Environment, partnering with grassroots leaders to grow the capacity of environmental movements in China, the Russian Far East, and Alaska. Melinda built training curricula, led cultural exchanges, provided media training, and facilitated the International Bering Sea Forum, a long-term collaboration of Russian and Alaskan scientists, policy makers, fisherman, NGOs, and indigenous leaders. At the Natural Capital Institute, Kramer was a key contributor to WiserEarth.org, a global communication platform for NGO leaders. She also co-founded the Global Women’s Water Initiative, equipping women in Sub-Saharan Africa with a holistic set of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) strategies, who become skilled in building appropriate technologies, promoting water-related health campaigns and launching social enterprises.
Melinda received her anthropology and environmental policy training from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. She recently received a distinguished leadership award from the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Washington University.
Melinda is an in-demand social impact consultant for foundations, non-profits and mission-driven companies, a trained facilitator for board and leadership retreats, and a frequent keynote speaker at social impact events around the globe.