Vanessa Melo is a research program associate with the Program on Poverty and Governance (PovGov) at CDDRL. She manages the project on police reform and criminal violence in Rio de Janeiro, in collaboration with Rio's Secretariat of Public Security and the Laboratory of Analysis of Violence at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). Melo is responsible for supervising research timetables, overseeing research on the ground, creating and maintaining contact with interest groups, and identifying new venues of investigation and potential partners.
Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Melo worked for over 13 years at SEBRAE/RJ, Brazil's largest organization supporting small business development and entrepreneurship. At SEBRAE, she was a project manager working mainly with social entrepreneurship projects in poor communities in Rio de Janeiro. Prior to Stanford, she worked as a consular officer and as a trade and investment officer at the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles.
Melo collaborated with PovGov for over a year before joining the team full-time in August of 2013 and served as a seminar assistant at Stanford's Bing Overseas Studies Program in Rio in July 2013. She holds a BA in Portuguese language and literature from the Universidade Iguaçu, a postbaccalaureate degree in strategic management of human resources from Universidade Estácio de Sá, and a postbaccalaureate degree in social responsibility in the third sector from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, both funded by SEBRAE/RJ. Melo is interested in exploring options for social and economic development in poor communities in Latin America through local governance, social technology and entrepreneurship.