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Melissa Simona Raso (nee Vigano) MBA ’96
Melissa graduated with a BS, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University, where she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and an MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma, from Columbia Business School.
Before earning her MBA, Melissa leveraged her knowledge and fluency in several European cultures and languages for 3 years as an international marketing manager for the Plaza Hotel in New York.
While earning her Columbia MBA, Melissa Raso began her career at American Express. During her 7 years there, she worked across key business areas such as Consumer Card Services Group Acquisition, Customer Focused Sales (CFS) and Membership Consulting Services (MCS). Among other accomplishments, Melissa helped grow American Express’ business by leading a team that transformed the MCS business into a retention capability that preserved over 400,000 cardmember relationships annually as well as by growing the CFS business to increase sales 81% year over year with high customer satisfaction levels by improving the product portfolio mix and facilitating a transition of the call centers from a “service” to a “sales and service” culture.
Melissa has been a Trustee of All Souls School in New York City since 2007, serving as Secretary of the Board since joining as a Trustee. She was part of the Search Committee when the founding Director retired after 27 years. In addition, she served as President of the Parents Association for 2 years and supported the Parents Association in many chair roles including as benefit chair.
Melissa is an Admissions Associate at the Brearley School, which her two children attend, in New York City and is actively involved in the Parents Association.
Social Enterprise Summer Fellows
“My experience working with communities in India and Africa, as well as on developing public-private partnerships with government and non-profit agencies, convinced me of the need for innovative approaches to international development”
“I see entrepreneurs as the key leverage point in development, so interning at Ashoka made perfect sense.”
Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy
“This internship matched my interest in harnessing the power and resources in the for profit sector to effect social change.”