Melissa Madzel

Melissa Madzel
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Melissa Madzel

Managing Director, Equity Initiatives

As the Managing Director, Equity Initiatives for Koya Partners, Melissa is responsible for ensuring that Koya’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is infused into every aspect of the firm’s work with clients and candidates. In leading this work, Melissa applies her experience as a search leader for numerous organizations, as well as her background in social work and staff development.

Prior to this role, Melissa served as a Managing Director, Executive Search with Koya Partners, primarily focusing on identifying senior leaders for social justice organizations. Melissa led or co-led CEO/Executive Director searches for organizations including: Innocence Project, Demos, Community Change, Foundation for a Just Society, MoveOn, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Hetrick-Martin Institute, among others.

Through her earlier nonprofit work, Melissa developed a deep understanding of a variety of nonprofit roles and organizational cultures. Prior to joining Koya in 2015, she held positions with UNICEF USA, Safe Horizon, and Cities of Service, mainly in the corporate development space. She also served as a Founding Corps Member and Program Manager with City Year New York.

Melissa serves on the Advisory Council of Equity in the Center, a national initiative dedicated to creating a more diverse and equitable social sector talent pipeline. She also actively volunteers her time to provide coaching and mentorship to leaders of color and in the LGBTQ+ community.

She holds a Masters of Social Work from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in Human Services and Theatre Performance from Northeastern University. Melissa is based in Brooklyn, NY.