Melinda Kramer: Founder,
"Every environmental issue I encountered, I found women leading
the charge, often without support or recognition. I started seeing woman
after woman after woman environmental leader who I had encountered on
my path...I could actually feel the groundswell of genius, passion, and
know-how could be tapped if these women were linked strategically,
pooling their strategies, so that they were not only able to influence
their local campaigns but to participate meaningfully at a global
Melinda Kramer is an environmental activist, mother, connector, and founder of Women's Earth Alliance. At age 24, she set out to create a thriving global resource to support the courageous efforts of grassroots women leaders working around the world to protect the environment for future generations. Today, she co-directs WEA's work on three continents around issues of clean water, food security, climate change, and land protection. Before founding WEA,
Melinda worked around the world with organizations pursuing
justice, sustainable local economies and indigenous rights. She lived in
East Africa working with CARE Kenya on sustainable agriculture and
health projects and later worked throughout the North Pacific Rim,
the emergence of grassroots environmental movements in China, the
Russian Far East, and Alaska with international
organization, Pacific Environment. Melinda led Pacific Environment’s
China and Marine programs, conducting trainings in media,
organizational development, and campaign strategy for grassroots NGOs.
Melinda also worked on
sustainable fisheries issues in Alaska and the Russian Far East,
facilitating the International Bering Sea Forum, a long-term
collaborative initiative that involved Russian and Alaskan scientists,
policy makers, fisherman, NGOs, and indigenous leaders. At the Natural
Capital Institute, Melinda worked with Author and Entrepreneur, Paul Hawken and the NCI team to create WiserEarth.org, the web-based communication tool. Melinda studied at Washington University and University of Nairobi. She
is a trained facilitator and speaks Swahili, Spanish, and some
Mandarin. Hear her story here.
Amira Diamond: Co-Director
“We need it all — idealism, business sense, and political acumen, as well as intergenerational participation, a strong emphasis on using our work as a platform for leadership development for all participants, and joyful moments of music and laughter. We weave it all together because we see process as inextricably linked with results; in a complex world in crisis, we have to start building solutions that integrate all the gifts and resources that are available to us."
Amira Diamond joined founder Melinda Kramer as WEA Co-Director in 2007 to expand WEA's programs, build the WEA team and create a community of support for its work. Active within the NGO community for over 20 years, she has worked for community health, environmental and food justice, LGBTQ, women's rights, and civic engagement. Prior to WEA, Amira served as Associate Director of Circle of Life supporting environmental justice awareness campaigns and the first national biodiesel powered bus tours and concerts. As West Coast Director of Democracy Matters, she mentored student leaders on college campuses building grassroots networks, organizing conferences, events and street theater. Amira's deepest inspiration comes from her family of musicians, artists and dedicated community organizers. A violinist, vocalist and activist since childhood, Amira is committed to using the power of music to unite; she founded and conducts a community choir. She lived and studied women and development in Jamaica with the School for International Training, studied at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and holds a degree in Women’s Studies from Colgate University. Amira is a member of the Forbes Executive Women's Board, holds certification as a holistic health counselor and is a new mother.
Kahea Pacheco (Native Hawaiian): Operations Manager and North America Advocacy Network Coordinator
Prior to joining WEA, Kahea worked and interned at various organizations committed to human rights and social justice, including Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, and Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), a national social and health justice nonprofit serving the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. Kahea held a legal clerkship with Alexander, Berkey, Williams and Weathers LLC, representing Native American tribes; a legal research internship with the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, where her research was included in a 2008 shadow report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and a legal research internship with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, where she supported debt relief campaign efforts. Her article, “Broken Traditions: Protecting Native American Women from Sexual Violence,” was published in the University of San Francisco Journal of Law and Social Challenges. Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’i and educated at Kamehameha Schools, the University of Washington and the University of San Francisco School of Law, Kahea is committed to promoting Indigenous peoples rights and a sustainable future for our planet.
WEA's work would not be possible without our tremendously talented Interns. Meet past and current WEA Interns here!