Melissa Dzenis is a researcher and international development consultant with diverse professional experience in management consulting, Middle East policy and International Human Rights Law. Melissa has lived and studied Arabic in Morocco, Lebanon, and Egypt, and has worked with various NGOs both in the United States and abroad, including the Wallace Global Fund, Lebanese Emigration Research Center, KARAMAH, and the EastWest Institute. Most recently, Melissa worked in Cairo, Egypt, as a consultant with the NGOs Coalition Against FGM/C, liasing with various UN Agencies and 76 different civil society, medical, and legal actors to embolden and restructure social-norms based approaches to combating gender-based violence and FGM/C in Egypt. Her research interests include MENA investment strategies, sectarian dynamics, civil society and democratization aid, Islamic legal studies, and post-colonial Arab identity. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Middle East Studies with honors from Brown University. For her undergraduate thesis, which explored Lebanese conceptions of consociational citizenship, civic identity, and confessional politics among university students, Melissa conducted fieldwork throughout Lebanon, holding focus groups with students in the Bekaa, Tripoli, Beirut , Sidon, and Tyre. Her research explored the politicization of university spaces and the implications of confessionally disparate democratization-aid provision for student attitudes toward civil society initiatives.