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Marilyn Melkonian

Founder and Chair

Marilyn Melkonian is president and founder of Telesis Corporation, a Washington, D.C. based company with offices in New York, New Haven, and San Francisco working in neighborhood development and the preservation and construction of affordable housing.

Melkonian was first involved in housing policy and legislation from 1967 to 1970 on the staff of Senator Edward W. Brooke. She is a graduate of the Stanford University Law School.  She was a partner in the New York and Washington law firm of Tufo, Johnston & Zuccotti specializing in land use and development of housing through 1976.

She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1977 to 1980, first for insured and direct loans and later for all multi-family housing. In 1980, Melkonian was general counsel and business advisor to Lucasfilm, Ltd.  She founded Telesis in 1985.

Melkonian served as a member of the National Housing Task Force chaired by James Rouse and David Maxwell which reported to Congress in March, 1988 on the future direction of housing policies and programs. She is founder and chair of the National Housing Trust, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the nation's supply of affordable housing. She serves on the Board of the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation and is Vice-Chair of the Eisenhower Foundation. She served on President Clinton's HUD Transition Team, and serves on the Board of the Brookings Institution’s Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.