Welcome Melanie and Introducing Our New CBF Staff Leadership Team

April 20, 2021

It has been a time of transition at the CBF as we said goodbye to our longtime Associate Director, Dina Merrell last month. However, with change comes new opportunities, and we are pleased to announce a new CBF leadership team who will work closely with CBF Executive Director Bob Glaves to lead the CBF into an even brighter future.

One member of our new leadership team is Melanie MacBride, who we were excited to welcome as our new Associate Director of Grants & COO on March 24th. In this role, Melanie will oversee and direct the CBF’s grants program and related programs and projects. In addition, she oversees the administrative operations of the CBF, with a lead role in directing finance and audit, human resources, and other key operational activities.

Prior to joining the CBF, Melanie was the Managing Attorney of the Safety & Family Practice Group at Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, where she had worked in a variety of roles since 2012. Earlier in her career, Melanie worked as a staff attorney at the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (n/k/a Ascend Justice) and DuPage Bar Legal Aid Service.

The CBF also promoted two other stars on staff to be part of the new leadership team so that all core areas of the CBF’s work are now reflected in our staff leadership.  Samira Nazem will serve as Associate Director for Advocacy & Programs, where she will lead the CBF’s growing court and legislative advocacy efforts as well as other CBF programs. Jessica Bednarz will serve as Associate Director for Innovation & the JEP, where she will work to advance innovation throughout the CBF’s work while continuing to lead the CBF’s internationally acclaimed Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP).

Congratulations to Melanie, Samira, and Jess, the CBF is now well-positioned to make an even greater impact in the coming years!