Melissa Lara Clissold

Melissa Lara Clissold

Hi, I’m Melissa, I’m the Communications Lead at ATÖLYE—I love playing with words, coming up with creative ideas, and working towards social positive change. As a third culture kid, I tend to have a natural ability to bridge connections between different people, cultures, and disciplines; it is in diverse communities that I thrive best and feel most at home. 

Melissa joined ATÖLYE in 2020 as Senior Communications Associate where her work focuses on creating fluid, simple, and effective communication.  With degrees in both English Literature & Philosophy as well as a Masters in Social Anthropology of Development, her expertise is grounded in exploring details behind concepts and thinking outside the box.

Melissa has led various projects ranging from creating communications campaigns for several local and global hackathons, promoting various events and programs, and launching new regional initiatives such as the Creative Power Map. Furthermore, Melissa’s work focuses on expanding ATÖLYE’s thought leadership efforts through curating the ATÖLYE Insights publication. Her role involves communicating with external partners, as well as maintaining and developing existing relationships. 

Her multi-cultural background (being English, Irish, and Turkish) has had a huge impact on the way she hopes to bring together people from different backgrounds. It is for this reason that Melissa also currently helps lead the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity efforts at ATÖLYE, helping work towards creating a community in which everyone feels like they belong. 

Her previous experience involves volunteering at The British Red Cross with refugees, interning at Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange-UK as a marketing and recruitment officer, working as an English Teaching Assistant in a primary school in Catalonia under the British Council’s program, as well as working for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Turkey as National Director. 

Melissa is also the co-founder of Jam Sessions Turkey, an initiative that aims for positive social change through music. Music is her greatest passion.