Meet Our Staff


Tessa Mellin

Hometown: Somerville, MA

Tessa brings an avid and long-time interest in working with and supporting nonprofits to her role at Elevate. She is chiefly interested in the ways organizations and their funders can collaborate to most effectively achieve their goals. Over the last several years, Tessa has explored many aspects of the food world from working on a dairy farm in Australia, to running a CSA program for SNAP recipients in Boston. Prior to joining the Elevate team, Tessa worked as a Program Associate at the Center for Food Safety, a national nonprofit and environmental advocacy organization. There, she supported legal and policy work on a diverse range of environmental issues including climate change, soil health, and pollinator protection.

Tessa graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a BA in Sustainable Development and Sociology and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of New York. While at Columbia, she tailored her studies towards sustainable food systems, spending a semester in Dublin at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

As a newcomer to DC, Tessa can often be found exploring different areas of the city and trying out every dining establishment she comes across. When she isn’t sampling tacos from her favorite neighborhood spot, Tessa satisfies her love of museum wandering by taking full advantage of the Smithsonian’s free entry–the best deal in town! Now if she can only adopt a dog…

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

Inconsistent use of the oxford comma. Love it or hate it, stick with your choice.

What is your hidden talent?

I’m a certified mahout! I spent a summer working at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center outside of Chiang Mai, where I received my certification.

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

On any given Sunday, you can find me at the farmers’ market stocking up on delicious treats for the week!

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