Nicole brings over a decade of experience working on immigrant and refugee issues at the local, state, and national level. As NPNA’s Executive Director where she works to harness the collective power of the NPNA network of 60 of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations with reach across 40 states to advance immigrant integration efforts through advocacy, organizing campaigns, and policy initiatives.
She is the former Executive Director of NPNA member organization, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and it’s C4 sister organization CIRC Action Fund. Ms. Melaku led the expansion of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition to over 95 immigrant and refugee serving organizations and helped pass some of the country’s most notable and affirmative immigrant integration policies, led scaled naturalization and civic engagement campaigns including NPNA’s Citizenship Now!, Cities for Citizenship, and America is Home naturalization campaigns at the state and local level. Nicole is a first generation New American whose mother and grandparents hail from Chihuahua, Mexico and who naturalized as a result of the Immigration Reform and Naturalization Act (IRCA) of 1986.
Nicole’s career trajectory draws on the strength and perseverance of her family’s own immigration story-she is an advocate, organizer, and movement leader who is dedicated to building a more inclusive and fair democracy. She is a Welcoming America White House Champion of Change (2014), a Hispanic in Philanthropy Fellow (2018-19), a Transformative Leadership for Change Fellow, a New American Leaders alumni, and a former co-chair of NPNA’s sister coalition the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM).