Melissa is a Manager at LaMP, where she leads proof-of-concept projects in Latin America and designs practical solutions for more and better labor mobility in Latin America. Currently, Melissa leads a project in Guatemala establishing a professionalized trade association of responsible recruiters for Guatemalan workers seeking temporary employment abroad (mainly U.S., Canada, and Mexico), to help them outcompete bad actors and demonstrate leadership and best recruitment practices to others. Additionally, Melissa is working on the design and coordination of a new labor mobility pathway that would open opportunities for workers from El Salvador and Guatemala to access jobs in the cruise industry (via C1/D visas). Melissa also contributed to develop a scoping and assessment project for labor mobility opportunities in Ibero-America, driving strategies for dissemination and increased LaMP’s visibility in the region.  

Before joining LaMP, Melissa was an independent consultant providing technical assistance to various international development firms with project assessments, research, and proposal development. Previously, she worked at Chemonics International for over four years, managing USAID-funded projects in Latin America and the Caribbean focused on democracy, governance, gender and social inclusion. Before that, Melissa provided employment and women’s economic empowerment services to resettled refugees in the DMV area with the International Rescue Committee. Melissa earned her master’s degree in international development studies with a focus in migration and gender from the Elliott School of International Affairs.