Mekaelia is a program associate at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute's mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Ascend is a policy program of the Institute and a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security.
Prior to joining Ascend, Mekaelia completed a National Urban Fellowship at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, earning a Master of Public Administration degree at Baruch College, City University of New York. Prior to becoming a National Urban Fellow, Mekaelia was a program coordinator with the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Career Program, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve diversity efforts in challenging and highly coveted industries. She received a bachelor's degree in political science from Hunter College and serves on the board of directors for the Gye Nyame Empowerment Project, a New York-based community organization.