Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Director

Melissa Waggener Zorkin

Melissa Waggener Zorkin is a purpose-driven CEO who has spent the past 15 years helping Mercy Corps advance its efficiency and impact in the world’s toughest places.

Melissa first joined Mercy Corps after receiving an invitation to join the board of directors from former CEO Neal Keny-Guyer. Impressed with the organization’s leadership and mission, Melissa said yes, despite being incredibly busy running her own company.

She currently serves as a director, chair of the nominating and governance committee, and a member of the joint board executive committee.

In her experience with Mercy Corps, Melissa is most proud of her work on initiatives to break down global gender barriers, improve effectiveness, and foster innovation through partnerships with technology companies.

She studied English at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon then founded WE Communications, now the second-largest independent PR firm in the world. She serves as chief executive officer.

Melissa was born in California, spent her childhood years in Oregon and now lives in Seattle — but she has spent so much time in other places she feels she is from everywhere. As in her work, she strives to find purpose in her life and loves spending time with her family and traveling the world. When not on the road, she enjoys reading books and riding Vespas.