Melissa Estok is a Principal at ASG, where she serves as chief operating officer, overseeing firm operational planning, talent management and retention, and information and communication technology, in support of the firm’s mission and future growth. Ms. Estok also leads the firm’s social impact team, providing advice and assistance to foundations, nonprofits and corporations, ranging from market entry and risk assessments to partnership building and sustainability.
Ms. Estok has more than 25 years of experience advising, building and strengthening advocacy and human rights organizations. As Senior Advisor to the National Democratic Institute (NDI) for more than two decades, she specializes in election-related and issue advocacy support in transitional democracies. She has worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America on evidence-based training programs to increase the civic participation of women, indigenous groups, and youth. She lived and served in leadership positions in Nicaragua, Peru, Yemen, and Bangladesh.
A pioneer in evidence-based democratic governance programming, Ms. Estok created and tested applied research techniques used to assess democratic institutions, leadership, and values in Lebanon, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador, among others. She also is the co-author of NDI’s seminal election-monitoring tool The Quick Count and Election Monitoring: An NDI Guide for Civic Organization and Political Parties.
Ms. Estok began her international development career with the Peace Corps in Honduras where she served four years as an adult literacy promoter and technical trainer.
She earned a M.A. in Counseling from Marymount University and a B.A. in Spanish and International Relations from John Carroll University.
Ms. Estok is based in Washington, DC.