Melissa L. Bradley is Chief Executive Officer of Tides. Melissa has a strong track record of creative and innovative leadership and a background as a social entrepreneur. Prior to Tides, Melissa founded and served as managing director of New Capitalist, an organization that leverages human, financial and social capital to create economically profitable and sustainable individuals, businesses, and communities. In this role, she facilitated over $20 million in venture capital transactions for seed stage companies, generated an average of 20 percent return on behalf of investors, and created proprietary investment vehicles instrumental in capital sourcing for minority-owned firms.
Previously, Melissa served as a Senior Adviser to the Center for American Progress and as a regular consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on Family Economic Security and Civic Engagement. She is formerly a Senior Strategist for Green For All. In this role she created the Capital Access Program and assisted in the creation of the Energy Efficiency Opportunity Fund and the Green Jobs Award Program.
Melissa is founder and former President of Reentry Strategies Institute (RSI) - the only national criminal justice intermediary explicitly focused on reentry. The goal of RSI is to engage frontline service providers, donors and employers in support of successful and scalable reentry programs throughout the United States. Additionally, Melissa was selected as a Soros Justice Fellow for her innovation in the area of criminal justice. In this role she investigated the feasibility and viability of creating entrepreneurial ventures for formerly incarcerated persons and encouraged investments from the business community to meet the employment needs of the formerly incarcerated.
She is also founder of The Entrepreneurial Development Institute (TEDI), an international, non-governmental organization, serving youth, ages 7 to 21, and their families, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for permanent social change, economic development and community empowerment. Selected as an “Outstanding National Youth Entrepreneurship Program” by the Kauffman Foundation, TEDI is based in Washington, DC with 16 satellite offices throughout the United States and three international locations.
Melissa also founded Positive Impact – a collaborative initiative to promote diverse voices and visions within independent media that was launched at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. As part of this initiative Bradley authored “Introduction to Media Investing for the Creative and Investment Communities.”
Her prior work experience also includes serving as Vice President at UBS in the Private Client Group and as a Financial Regulatory Affairs Fellow with the US Department of Treasury where she researched the impact of welfare reform and micro-enterprise lending on the financial industry.
Melissa currently serves as an Advisor to Renewal 2 Investment Fund. She also holds board positions with CFED, Georgetown University Board of Governors, Victory Fund, and Grist, and previously with Green America, the Tides Network, and Tides Foundation.
Melissa's educational background includes graduation from Georgetown University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the School of Business, and a Master’s in Business Administration in Marketing from American University in 1993.