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Melissa Kushner

Founder & Executive Director of goodsforgood

Melissa believes that every child in the world should have the opportunity to achieve. Having lost her father at a young age, Melissa knows firsthand how losing a parent changes the course of a child’s life. Due in part to this experience, Melissa has committed herself to ensuring that the death of a parent does not determine a child’s fate.

In 2005 Melissa’s position at the United Nations took her to Malawi, an African country where one million of the countries 14 million people are orphans. Struck by this crisis and the altruistic and entrepreneurial spirit of local Malawian leaders, Melissa founded goods for good.

Melissa set up two offices, one in New York City and the other in the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe. She spent her first year as the Executive Director of goods for good in Malawi traveling from village to village, forging partnerships with local community centers. Today these relationships are the foundation of goods for good’s success.

Six years later, goods for good is empowering community centers to care for over 67,000 orphans and children in need. goods for good does this by providing goods to meet the immediate needs of children and building businesses with community centers to sustain orphan care. Together, these programs provide vulnerable children with the opportunity to achieve.

While working with goods for good, Melissa was struck by the lack of coordination within the nonprofit sector.  In 2011, she co-founded nonprofit share with a vision to create a more transparent and effective social sector.  nonprofit share is an online tool dedicated to building meaningful connections between nonprofits.  nonprofit share Beta will launch in January 2013.

Melissa has an M.P.A from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She presented at TEDx Atlanta, was featured on NBC’s Nightly News and in The Gap’s “Born to Fit” advertising campaign.  In addition, she is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, a Global Good Fund Fellow and received the Distinguished Young Alumna Award from New York University.