Grants and Programs Staff
Aurora Carmichael is the Director of Grants and Programs at American University Washington College of Law. She joined the staff in 1995 and is a motivated and solution-oriented senior academic and administrative officer with twenty years of experience in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in government, higher education, and non-profit settings.
Aurora serves as chief fundraising officer for sponsored programs and special projects and is responsible for stewardship and oversight of the law school’s private foundation, government, and international fundraising portfolio. In addition, she oversees the strategic, administrative, and operational aspects of summer and certificate programs in Washington, D.C., leveraging opportunities for collaboration, market expansion, and revenue enhancement. She is a trailblazer in the workplace and in the community -- her contributions to the law school and university have been recognized with the University Award for Outstanding Staff Performance and, in the community, she serves as Founder and President of the Broadwater Estates Community Association and Chair of the Advisory Board of St. Columba School in Maryland.
Aurora came to Washington, D.C. in 1992, after being selected by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute for a public policy fellowship and, thereafter, held positions with the Office of Senator Claiborne Pell from Rhode Island, the Special Assignment Unit at Cable News Network (CNN), and the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley where she received her A.B. in the Social Science Field with an emphasis in International Relations and also studied the law and economics of international relations at the Institute of Political Science at the Université de Lyon, Lumiére II in Lyon, France. She completed an M.B.A. at the Kogod School of Business at American University with a specialization in International Finance and is fluent in French and Spanish.
Melissa Hippler is the Grant Coordinator in the Office of Grants and Programs. She has many years of professional experience in development, fundraising, and management for environmental, human rights, and social justice nongovernmental organizations. Most recently, she served nearly 14 years as Director of Development for the Center for International Environmental Law. Other institutions Melissa has worked for include Ozone Action, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and Environmental Support Center.
At WCL, Melissa provides pre-award as well as post-award support to the law school community.
Marc LeBlanc is the Project Coordinator in the Office of Grants and Programs. He began working at WCL in 2011 for the Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy, which he continues to coordinate. He graduated from the American University School of International Service in 2011 with an MA in International Politics specializing in International Organization and International Development. He had internships with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Creative Learning’s America’s Unofficial Ambassadors program, and the National Council for International Visitors. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the youth development sector and taught English in South Korea. He also holds a BA in International Studies and French from Dickinson College.
Marc coordinates a variety of programs through the Office of Grants and Programs, is the liaison for the specialized summer programs in DC, coordinates the Program on International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy in Washington and Geneva, and processes the J-1 visas for WCL visiting scholars and faculty.
Paola Bedós joined the law school community as a Coordinator in the Office of Grants and Programs in 2015. She was born and raised in Lima, Peru, and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Communication with honors. Recent internships provided her with exposure to the importance of customer service and experience with marketing strategies as well as graphic design, social media, and target audience engagement.
Paola provides support to programs developed and implemented Office of Grants and Programs. She is fluent in Spanish and works specifically on the Programa sobre Reforma Judicial en America Latina and the Diplomado en Litigación Oral Penal.