Executive Director

Melody Westen is a dedicated and data-driven fundraiser, focused on strategic development and brand engagement. With extensive marketing and development experience across national nonprofits and international non-governmental organizations, she has been fostering meaningful relationships that make a momentous impact for over two decades.

As Executive Director of Akashinga (formerly the International Anti-Poaching Foundation), USA, Melody works closely with Akashinga’s Board of Directors to broaden its circle of support while ensuring the organization’s sustainability. Previously she served as SVP, Development & Marketing at Back on My Feet, a U.S. based nonprofit that uses running as a tool towards self-sufficiency for those experiencing homelessness and overcoming addiction. Prior to that, she spent over five years at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) overseeing the strategic development of targeted donor groups to further the IRC’s mission.

Her specialties include creating sustainable development infrastructure, diversifying funding opportunities, and aligning messaging across organizations. She holds a Communications degree from the University at Buffalo.


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