1991: Entrepreneur and visionary William (Bill) Melton and peace activist Patricia Smith create the Melton Foundation.
The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Pinochet regime in Chile, and the economic and social transformations taking place in China and India in the 1990s, all influenced by young people, profoundly inspired Bill Melton and Patricia Smith. Bill Melton, who founded VeriFone and other pioneering companies, was convinced that deliberately bringing together talented young people from fast-changing yet cultural disparate environments would create a network capable of positive global impact.
Thus was born the Melton Foundation.
From this early vision, the Foundation grew into a thriving network of more than 500 Melton Fellows who, through their lifetime Fellowship, form deep and lasting relationships across boundaries that once seemed impermeable.
Today, the Melton Foundation is the only global Fellowship program specifically designed to develop global citizens and integrate them into a lifelong global network.
Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Global Internet Ventures
William (Bill) Melton is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Global Internet Ventures, an Internet Holding Company. For more than 20 years, Mr. Melton has been an entrepreneur bringing technology to the financial industry.
He was the original founder of VeriFone Inc, the transaction automation company that has made credit authorization terminals ubiquitous on retail counters throughout the world. He was also an early investor in America Online and served on its Board of Directors for several years. He currently serves on the Board of several private early stage technology companies. He holds a master’s degree in Asian Studies and Chinese Philosophy.
Melton Foundation Co-Founder
Patricia Smith, the Melton Foundation Co-Founder, is actively involved in the global fora in the areas of conflict resolution.
Patricia is a playwright with productions throughout the U.S. She is also a photographer who has taught at the Smithsonian Institution, a poet, and an entrepreneur. Currently her work is mainly oriented to founding and directing the PEACE X PEACE Global Network. This organization uses the internet to connect women-based groups in the U.S. in one-to-one relationships with women-based groups working in their home nations outside the U.S. The aim is to foster the conditions necessary to achieve and maintain peace.
Our Board is made up of Melton Fellows!
Meet Jason Liu
Meet Megan Williams
Meet Pedro Poblete Lasserre
Vice ChairRead Bio
Meet Dr. Roland Bullard
Meet Dr. Jagadeesh H S
Meet Abdul Mahdi
Meet Julian Klauke
Meet Pia Obro
Meet Ricardo Herrera Lara
Meet Qiang Lu
Meet Dr. H N Suma
Task Team RepresentativeRead Bio
Meet Henrika Amoafo
Junior Fellow RepresentativeRead Bio
Meet Steffen Bethmann
Executive Director (Ex Officio)Read Bio
Jason Liu is currently the Vice President in the Wealth Management division of Deutsche Bank Hong Kong. He serves as the Head of CIO Office Asia and provides macroeconomic analysis to his clients. Prior to this, he worked at Morgan Stanley as Asia Economist for five years and at China’s Anbang Insurance Group as Global Economist for three years. Before that, he also worked as a financial management trainee at General Electric in Shanghai. Jason holds a Master’s degree in economics from National University of Singapore and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Zhejiang University in China. Jason has been a Melton Fellow since 2002. He joined the Board of Directors of Melton Foundation in 2016 and was named the Vice Chair of the Board in the same year.
Megan Williams currently works in Cybersecurity at AT&T. She has worked on various projects including network based firewall, premise based firewall, AWS, and several others. She gained a background in psychology at Dillard University and later earned her MSCS from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She has facilitated several workshops focusing on introducing STEM to underserved youth and continues to work as a STEM mentor. She has a passion for the arts and enjoys creative ventures that include painting, crafting, and learning new musical instruments. Her passion for arts culminated in the start of several small business ventures one of which lead to her work being featured and sold at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She has been a member of the Melton Foundation since 2003 and currently resides in the greater New York City area.
Pedro is a social scientist and engineer interested in the use of IT for social development, Human Rights, and international aid and cooperation. He works as a freelancer for NGOs and other non-profits, developing better technologies that support their missions. Currently, Pedro is associated with the Indigenous Rights and Resource Governance Research Group from Laurier University (Canada), developing online resources for promoting Indigenous Rights, and he is also involved in a Melton Fellows-driven project that promotes sex education in refugees settled in Germany. He has previously worked in multiple NGOs and research institutions in Chile, Canada, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Uganda. He holds a Master of Science in Human-Technology Interaction from Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) and a Bachelor in Social-Community Psychology from Universidad de la Frontera (Chile).
The Vice President of Student Success at Dillard University, Roland is a higher education advocate who has worked or supervised areas such as Adult Education Programs, Community Service and Outreach, and Leadership Programs. He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University-Bloomington, a M.Ed. from the USC- Columbia in Student Personnel Services and B.A. in Communication from FAU. He has served as a higher education consultant and is considered a student development and non-profit management expert, as he has instructed numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in student affairs, higher education, and management.
Dr. Jagadeesh’s bio will soon be updated
Abdul Mahdi is the Dean of Students and Community Affairs and member of the Executive Board at Ashesi University College. Prior to this, he lived and worked in the United States, where he was the Director of Full-time and Professional MBA Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Champaign among other roles at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago State University, LaSalle Bank, Walgreens and others.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MBA from Governor State University, Illinois.
Julian works in the Mediation and Dialogue Support Programme of the Berghof Foundation and has dedicated much of his professional and voluntary life to supporting international exchange, understanding and peace processes. He joined the Melton Foundation in 2011 and has since founded Project Narratives, a peace-building initiative that uses the medium of personal documentaries to foster empathy between conflict parties. Julian holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Jena and an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Marburg
Pia Obro joined the Melton Foundation in 2003. She was originally trained as a dentist at Universidad de La Frontera and later pursued an MBA from the University of Rochester and an MPH from Columbia University. She has international experience in healthcare consulting, healthcare management and higher education. She is currently a Healthcare Operations Manager at DaVita Kidney Care in the New York City Metro Area.
Alongside his role as a senior advisor to the Rector and CEO for Institutional Performance Agreements at Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile, Ricardo is also consultant for Higher Education and Advanced Human Resources Development Programs at CONICYT (Chile´s National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research). He previously served as Head of the Teaching and Instruction Office, Head of the Accreditation Office, Head of the International Cooperation Office, Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and General Secretary; all posts at Universidad de La Frontera, Chile. He holds a MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Illinois, a Professional Title in Anthropology from Universidad de Chile, and a BA in Philosophy and Social Sciences from Universidad Austral de Chile.
Qiang Lu currently is assistant dean at ZJU-UIUC Institute, a partnership between Zhejiang University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is mainly in charge of academic affairs and student affairs at the institute and also as major coordinator for undergraduate studies between the two universities. Prior to this, he had been the director of information and test center at Undergraduate School, and director for graduate studies at the College of Civil Engineering and Architecture in Zhejiang University for many years. He is specialized in numerical computation and simulation for hydraulic structures, computer programming and database implementation, etc. He has served as a member of the Melton Foundation’s faculty team at Zhejiang University for nearly 20 years.
Task Team Representative
Dr. H N Suma is the Professor in the Department of Medical Electronics, BMSCE, Bangalore. She heads CIME (Center for Innovation in Medical Electronics), CEO of Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), and Chief coordinator for Student satellite Project, BMSCE.
She holds a PhD from Mysore University and has 30 publications to her credit in international and national journals and conferences. She has undertaken collaborative projects with National & International Institutions/ Hospitals: Biomedical Engineering school-Stanford University, FOETH-Oxford University, IISc, KIMSH, Raman Research Institute, NIMHANS to name a few. Her Research Interests are: Medical Imaging, Brain Mapping, Brain Warping, Neural Networks and Pattern recognition.
Junior Fellow Representative
Junior Fellow (Non Voting Representative)
Ashesi University College
Greater Accra, Ghana
Executive Director (Ex Officio)
Interim Executive Director (Ex Officio)
The Melton Foundation
Meet Steffen Bethmann
Location: Temuco, Chile
Meet Patricia Ortiz
Director of Operations
Location: Temuco, Chile
Meet Lars Dietzel
Director of Strategy
Location: Santiago, Chile
Meet Alafia Stewart
Location: Oakland, CA USA
Meet Ashitha Nayak
Location: Bengaluru, India
Meet Sonali Keshwa Murti
Location: Bengaluru, India
Steffen joined the Melton Foundation as Fellow in 2001 and chaired its BOD from 2011-2013. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Max Weber Institute of the University of Heidelberg, and a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Nonprofit Management & Law from the University of Basel. Before he assumed the position of Interim Executive Director, Steffen worked for the Center for Philanthropy Studies of the University Basel and McKinsey in Berlin. He currently lives in Chile, where he enjoys the beautiful landscape by hiking, open water swimming or trying to surf.
Director of Operations
Patricia joined the Melton Foundation in 1996 as a Fellow. She is a Physical Education teacher and graduated from Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco, Chile. After graduation she worked in a private school teaching elementary and middle school students. She coached high school track and field for four years in Chile and then moved to Honduras, where she worked for two years as a volunteer teacher in an orphanage with at-risk children. After a short time in Oregon (USA), Patricia began working for the Melton Foundation in various capacities and currently serves as Director of Operations.
Patricia finds that running is a joy and a great way to discover beautiful landscapes for her other hobby – photography.
Director of Strategy
Lars first joined the Melton Foundation as a Fellow in 2002 and has supported the Melton Foundation in numerous capacities ever since.
Prior to joining our team, he served as a community worker in cross-community centers in Belfast (Norther Ireland). Lars also worked at Culture et Expression, an organization dedicated to supporting migrants in Le Luc en Provence (France), and he was part of the senior management team of one of the biggest international summer schools in the UK. He holds a M.A. in Education Science and Languages from Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz and Friedrich Schiller University, Jena (Germany).
Lars loves to try different foods and digests them by playing music, riding a bike or having conversations with friends and family. A glass of wine doesn’t hurt either.
Alafia coordinates the Learning Program for the New Fellows and Junior Fellows of the Melton Foundation. She is also a Senior Fellow who joined the foundation in 2006. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Dillard University, New Orleans, an M.B.A in Human Resources from Universidad Interamericana, Puerto Rico.
An Oakland California native, Alafia is a social activist, entrepreneur and educator. When not community organizing, she can most likely be found singing karaoke and/or trying all the amazing food the San Francisco bay area has to offer. Alafia lives by the motto: “2+2=4, but so does 3+1. There is almost never just one way to solve a problem so diversity in perspective is vital.”
Ashitha is a Communications Media and Content professional with three years of experience in strategic communications planning, knowledge dissemination and outreach to key audiences. She is a Computer Science Engineer from BMS College of Engineering, and has worked with news media houses, tech startups and social impact organizations.
Ashitha also successfully runs her ‘Storytelling for Change’ blog with over 2000 readers. She joined the Melton Foundation as a Fellow in 2015 and has been actively engaged in Communications and Outreach for global conferences and events ever since.
Sonali graduated from BMS College of Engineering with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. She began her professional career at ABB India Ltd. as a Project Manager in the Solar Power department. In addition to supporting the Melton Foundation staff team, she works part time at Anubis Systems as the Indian representative for Brunson USA, dealing with precision measurement.
When she’s not working in intercultural teams or with microns, you can find her whipping up her legendary brownies, having a good laugh or traveling to a unique corner of the world. Sonali has been a Fellow of the Melton Foundation since 2011.