Program Manager, Women’s Entrepreneurship Programs/ Professor
Melissa Samuelson is the Program Manager for Women’s Entrepreneurship Programs and a Professor at the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird School for Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. Her area of expertise includes women in entrepreneurship, women’s business issues in Asia and the Middle East, microfinance, and global gender issues. She has worked at varying levels in international relief efforts with the Afghanistan Relief Organization, Ray of Hope in Nepal, and Catholic Social Services as a cultural adjustment volunteer to Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi women relocated to the United States. Currently, her responsibilities at Thunderbird include the direction and management of a $1.6 million program budget with the Jordan Business Development Center Partnership under a grant from the United States Agency for International Development. She also does service as a committee member for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program courses at American University in Kabul, Afghanistan – a program to expand the entrepreneurial talent in developing and emerging economies, especially among women. Through her programs, she is committed to providing women around the world with the education and tools vital to self-empowerment. Ms. Samuelson has lived and worked in Afghanistan, Australia, Jordan, Nepal and the United States.