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Melissa V. Abad is a researcher at the Clayman Institute and the Center for the Advancement of Women's Leadership. Melissa has a PhD in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she examined the career paths of immigrant-serving nonprofit professionals in the suburbs. Her research focuses on how organizational behavior and community context shape the options women and men have and finds that there are gendered racialized differences. Her work also explores how changes in federal and local immigration policy over the last 20 years and the suburbanization of immigrant settlement shape the work of regional and community-based organizations in small communities.
She also holds a masters from the University of Chicago and a BA in Sociology from Northwestern University.