Melissa Madzel

Melissa Madzel is the Principal and Founder of Do Good Connections, a boutique consulting practice focused on seeing social justice leaders of color, leaders in the LGBTQ+ communities, and leaders from other underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds thrive in positions of influence.

Do Good Connections brings a high-touch, people-centered approach to supporting social justice organizations through executive searches for executive directors and CEOs, board members, and other key leaders. In addition, Melissa brings voice to these complex processes through writing, speaking, and network-weaving to enhance the sector conversations about leadership transitions that center equity.

Immediately prior to launching Do Good Connections in late 2023, Melissa served as Managing Partner at Axis Talent Partners, a woman of color-owned executive search firm. In that role, she oversaw partnership development and a variety of executive searches, while contributing to a shared leadership team and building staff capacity. Before her role with Axis, Melissa was a Managing Director for Koya Partners Diversified Search Group, where she held multiple positions during her tenure, including leadership of the Nonprofit Practice’s equity approach and significant contributions to Koya Partners’ depth in the social justice and advocacy space. Having joined the staff of Koya Partners in 2015, Melissa was one of the first 25 people on staff and saw the organization evolve into its current place as one of the country’s leading search firms for the nonprofit sector.

Organizations who have partnered with Melissa for searches at the executive or board level include across her career include: Drug Policy Alliance, Innocence Project, CHANGE Philanthropy, Building Movement Project, Proteus Fund, Public Welfare Foundation, the American LGBTQ+ Museum, Demos, Community Change, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center of New York, among many others.

Earlier work in Melissa’s professional experience includes roles with UNICEF USA and Safe Horizon, where she supported fundraising with major corporate foundations throughout the country. She proudly sits on the Board of Directors for Stonewall Community Foundation, currently in the office of Vice President. Melissa holds a Masters in Social Work from the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Theater Performance from Northeastern University. Melissa has also completed the BoardSource Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting. She has spent nearly 20 years in Brooklyn, NY, where she now lives with her wife and two children.

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