Melanie Merkle Atha has demonstrated her dedication to advancing peace and peacemaking around the world in her roles as collaborative lawyer, collaborative practice group non-profit founder, and, most importantly, as a baptized Christian. She will take on the responsibilities of Executive Director of EPF in January, 2019.
As a lawyer in private practice for nearly thirty years, Melanie discerned her call to transform her law practice from traditional litigation to collaborative conflict resolution as a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, an urban church which lives out its mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ at the altar and in the street. She has served St. Andrew’s as a vestry member, stewardship chair, Christian Education teacher, diocesan convention delegate and in various other roles. A graduate of EfM, she is glad to have the opportunity to marry her professional skills and her spiritual gifts.
Melanie is excited about the challenge of leading EPF into its 80th year. She intends to spend the year traveling the country with her husband, Steven, making connections for EPF in parishes, at diocesan events, at youth gatherings, and wherever people eager to connect with others who have a passion for social justice can be found. If you or your group would like to schedule a visit with Melanie and learn more about EPF and how EPF can support you in your efforts to wage peace and justice, please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is eager to start mapping out her journey of goodwill!
In addition to serving as ED of EPF, Melanie will also serve the Global Collaborative Law Council (“GCLC”) as its Executive Director beginning in January, 2019, as her three years of service as President of GCLC comes to an end. Like EPF, GCLC is a peace promoting organization — it is an international collaborative law practice group dedicated to expanding the use of collaborative law to all areas of legal conflict. Melanie hopes to serve as an effective, enthusiastic ambassador for both missions, make lots of lasting connections, and promote peace and justice as she travels through God’s magnificent creation!
Melanie was born and reared in rural Marengo County, Alabama. She has a BA in political science from Birmingham-Southern College and a JD from Vanderbilt University School of Law. She and Steven have two grown sons, Richard and Tate.