With roots in high profile corporate marketing and public relations, a great deal of Melissa’s attention has been directed toward raising funds, support and awareness for the social issues of our time. She has produced numerous events including town hall meetings with then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, an event to stop violence against women and girls with Eve Ensler and Gloria Steinem, and a nine-city concert tour for the Obama for President Campaign. Additional projects have included serving as the Field Producer for the Inaugural research trip for award-winning writer, actress Anna Deavere Smith’s newest work, Notes from the Field, the 25th Anniversary of Dr. Dean Ornish’ Preventive Medicine Research Institute, a two-day seminar on Feminomics for Bioneers, GLBT events with Fumorist Kate Clinton, Singer/Songwriter Mary Gauthier, concerts with performances by Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Holly Near, India Arie and more.
A globally-minded life enthusiast who loves a big idea, Melissa Howden has spent over two decades creating and executing outreach, multi-media, events and fundraising strategies at the intersection of arts, politics, culture, education and social change.
One of the qualities which distinguishes Melissa’s work, is her understanding and use of story-telling as the prime ingredient in creating initiatives and programs. To this end, Melissa brings to bear her talents as a writer and a filmmaker and employs a wide variety of media be it video, film, Blogs, podcasts, live satellite broadcasts webinars and more to tell a story.
Melissa holds BA Degrees in both Art and Sociology from Mills College, a Masters Degree from Washington University and a MFA from San Francisco University. She has been a Fellow at the Women’s Leadership Institute at Mills College, exploring the relationship between War and Faith. Melissa had the honor of meeting personally with one of her heroes, leader and peacemaker Nelson Mandela, an experience, which crystallized her belief that with creative dedication, service and resources, all things are possible