Melissa Diamond is an artist, speaker and social entrepreneur who is committed to creating an inclusive world where every individual is valued for their traits and experiences. Through creativity, innovation, storytelling and leadership, Diamond is working to create the world she wants to live in on a daily basis.
As the Executive Director of the non-profit A Global Voice for Autism, Diamond equips conflict-affected communities with the skills to support the development and success of children with autism and trauma-related behavioral challenges in their classrooms, homes and communities.
Diamond has worked extensively with refugee communities at The Melissa Network in Athens, Greece, at the International Organization for Migration in Cairo, Egypt, as the former President of the Board of Directors of Refugees Welcome-USA, and through her work with A Global Voice for Autism. Her creative practice, which combines original verse with colorful images to tell humanizing stories has been largely influenced by her work in these communities and by her experiences living abroad in England, Nepal, Jordan, Chile, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Greece and Egypt.
Diamond graduated with distinction as a Rotary Peace Fellow from the University of Bradford with a Master of Arts in Conflict, Security and Development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: Peace and Conflict from the University of Richmond, where she was a Boatwright Scholar and a Carole M. Johnson Memorial Scholar. Diamond is also a Watson Scholar, a Resolution Fellow and an American Middle East Network for Dialogue at Stanford (AMENDS) Fellow and her achievements have been recognized by global forums ranging from the Global Entrepreneurship Community Summit in Malaysia to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.