Melissa Diamond is a social entrepreneur, speaker and writer with a passion for people. As the founder of two non-profit organizations, A Global Voice for Autism and Roots for Refugees, Melissa believes that with hard work and an open mind, anyone can make a difference in the world. Through speaking, writing, organizing and direct service, Melissa is committed to expanding opportunities for youth in conflict-affected communities. She has traveled the world bringing this personal mission to life and, depending on the month, calls Minneapolis, Minnesota and Irbid, Jordan home.
After graduating from the University of Richmond with a self-designed Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace and Conflict, Melissa decided against finding a traditional job and instead became the full-time Executive Director of her own non-profit, A Global Voice for Autism. Since its establishment, A Global Voice for Autism has impacted more than 750 parents, children with autism, siblings and special needs professionals in the Middle East and continues to expand its private and community-based programs to locations around the world. In addition to attending the University of Richmond, Melissa was selected as one of fifteen Watson Scholars for a selective social entrepreneurship program in Boulder, Colorado. At Watson, Melissa was mentored by world-renowned thought leaders and took part in accelerated Transformative Action and Transformative Entrepreneurship courses that catalyzed A Global Voice for Autism’s expansion.
Melissa’s favorite part of running A Global Voice for Autism is empowering women to support their own children with autism in order to help families and communities see that autism is simply a difference and not a disqualification for an enriching and valuable life.