Marielena Octavio, Project Associate

Marielena (“Lena”) Octavio joined Meridian Institute as a Fellow and Project Assistant in July 2017. She provides support to senior Meridian staff on collaborative public policy projects on a wide range of issues.
Ms. Octavio received her Bachelors of Science in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a concentration in Environment and Energy from Georgetown University in 2017. Prior to Meridian Institute, she conducted advanced and cutting-edge research alongside experienced faculty in a graduate program as an Undergraduate Scholar. In this role, she assisted in developing a research proposal for the Food and Agriculture’s Commission on Food Security that examined the relationship between food security and nutrition in Latin America. As an intern, she provided research and administrative support to the Inter-American Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. government that funds development projects undertaken by grassroots groups and nongovernmental organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ms. Octavio has shaped her academic career around distilling complex scientific data and theories into a language accessible to a broader public, bridging the gap between policy and science to enhance social and environmental priorities. Her research interests include the cultural implications of climate change, water management and conflict, natural resource management, and collaborative approaches to address environmental issues. Through these experiences, Ms. Octavio has fostered the passion to tackle complex public policy issues through the collaborative problem-solving approach that Meridian Institute employs in its work.