Melanie Allen manages grant portfolios, helps develop the Foundation’s relationships, identifies investment opportunities, co-learns and consults with grantee partners, and helps build strong, effective partnerships among people and organizations in the South.
With 12 years in the nonprofit, philanthropic and public sectors, Allen has considerable experience facilitating community-based solutions that ensure those most affected by policy are centered in the decision-making process. She also has a strong background with community development projects in many sectors, including affordable housing, food security, and rural and workforce development.
Allen came to the Foundation from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, where she served as Diversity and Equity Director for four years and Conservation and Diversity Coordinator for two. Allen developed a program to bring conservation resources and tools to rural areas to help families create wills, access legal services, retain land assets and make them profitable. She has developed curricula to help organizations identify and dismantle systemic inequality, and taught a graduate-level course on diversity, inclusion and equity at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Allen earned her bachelor’s degree in History and African-American Studies from Columbia University. She is a native of Greensboro.