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Expert Profile

Melody Zavala

Melody Zavala

Director, Books for Asia

Tel: (510) 667-6475

Fax: (510) 351-2602


Expertise: International Affairs

Melody Zavala joined The Asia Foundation in 1999 and is currently the director of Books for Asia, the Foundation's longest-running program. Previously, Melody worked on projects involving Russia and Central Asia for the Foundation and later, as a researcher, she matched donor interests with Foundation programs across Asia. Before joining The Asia Foundation, Melody worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). At CRS, from 1990-1992, she was the country director in Vladivostok, Russia. There she oversaw the office opening of the first American organization in the Russian Far East, led a team to provide emergency humanitarian aid to 1.5 million Russian citizens, and managed a program valued at $54 million. Before working for CRS in Russia, she was based in Kolkata where, as the CRS project manager, she collaborated with partners on emergency relief and long term development projects in 12 states in northeastern India.

Melody is conversant in Spanish and Russian.

Education: MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, New York, and BA in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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