Michelle is director of the Nairobi Office, where she manages a growing portfolio of Africa-focused work and develops strategies to help bring awareness to some of the continent’s most pressing issues. Since joining Burness in 2009, she has focused on issues ranging from immunization and reproductive health, to agriculture and climate change, to urban and rural development.
Though based in Africa, Michelle also leads communications campaigns for organizations based in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe. Michelle has organized and staffed press events in Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; New York; Nairobi, Kenya; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kigali, Rwanda; Accra, Ghana; Lusaka, Zambia; Lombok, Indonesia; and Cancún, Mexico. She has trained dozens of community leaders, advocates and experts on media and messaging at international organizations in Mexico City, Cali, Washington, D.C., Addis Ababa, Accra, Nairobi and Johannesburg.
As the daughter of a career foreign service officer, Michelle had the great fortune of growing up abroad (Belgium, Argentina and Paraguay) and developing her passion for diverse cultures, food and travel early on in life. Michelle received her B.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia in 2006, with a concentration in international business and marketing. She is fluent in Spanish and is trying to learn Kiswahili.