Nicole Mechem

Nicole Mechem

Director, Leadership
Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, Civil Society, Gender Equality & Inclusion, Leadership, Youth

Nicole is the director of IREX’s Leadership Practice, where she leads a portfolio of global leadership development programs that are advancing positive change in institutions and communities around the world and in the United States. In this role, she executes the practice vision and provides managerial oversight of a portfolio of over $100 million in programs operating in over 100 countries.

Nicole brings her nearly 17 years in the international development sector to her role as Director. She joined IREX in 2006 and most recently served as the deputy director of IREX’s Leadership Practice and chief of party for the USAID Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program. In this dual role, she collaborated closely with the practice director to oversee the practice portfolio, and she worked to bolster the technical and leadership skills of global change makers through US Department of State and USAID-funded programming.

Nicole’s prior roles at IREX have included providing technical support and leading the design, implementation, and management of many programs. She led the start-up and provided oversight and direction to the Community Solutions Program for nearly five years, a program providing integrated leadership curriculum and individualized coaching support to leaders from over 70 countries. Other past roles include supporting the Uniting Communities to Mitigate Conflict program in Somalia, a USAID-funded project engaging women and youth to promote positive approaches to resolving and avoiding conflict; serving as IREX’s first proposal recruiter; serving as the director of IREX’s field office in Tbilisi, Georgia; and providing backstopping support to several education programs and IREX’s Field Operations unit.

Before joining IREX, Nicole served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Telavi, Georgia where she collaborated with Georgian counterpart teachers to improve English language instruction and school services.

Nicole holds an MA in international development studies from George Washington University and a dual BA in government and Spanish from California State University, Sacramento.