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Sometimes we change our life.
Sometimes we change the world.

Hello, I'm Melina. I'm a writer, editor, and environmental advocate living in San Francisco. As an author I explore questions of courage.


As an advocate I work at the intersection of human rights and the environment. I'm always seeking opportunities to apply my skills. Specialties include: Developmental and content editing, strategic partnerships; creative philanthropy; productive group processes. 

I also sing. 


A Brief Bio

I write at Page Street in San Francisco, California where I am an active member of the writing community. My first novel manuscript, Judith and the General, won a first chapter literary contest, and first place in an upmarket women's fiction contest sponsored by Writer's Digest. 

Raised in San Diego California, I lived in France, Germany, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, New York City and Washington, DC before settling in San Francisco. I speak five languages. 

I was the founding director of an environmental nonprofit in Washington DC, building alliances between conservation and indigenous organizations in the Amazon Basin. I moved to San Francisco to work for the Goldman Environmental Foundation. Currently I support environmental defenders as a consultant for non-profits and small businesses, and I serve on the board of International Rivers. 

Check out my industrial ragtime band, Parlor Tricks.

About My Work

Organizations I have worked for include: Seventh Generation Fund, Bank Information Center, The Amazon Alliance, Rainforest Foundation, First People's Worldwide, International Funders of Indigenous Peoples, The Goldman Environmental Prize, Cultural Survival, Waterkeeper Alliance. 


Columbia University

I earned my doctorate in political science from Columbia University. I published my dissertation as a well-reviewed book called Ethnopolitcs in Ecuador: Indigenous Rights and the Strengthening of Democracy.


UC Santa Cruz 

I graduated from UCSC in Sociology and Latin American Studies with an honors thesis about indigenous autonomy based on my research in Sandinista controlled Nicaragua.

Adjunct Professor 

I have taught at John Hopkins University, George Washington University, American University, Georgetown University, Columbia University, and SAIS.  

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