Melanie Brookes – Weiss
Melanie Brookes-Weiss was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It was an early experience with two hand reared cheetahs at a local game reserve which started her long lasting love of these special cats, and her desire to help the species survive. She lived in South Africa until the age of 15, when her family moved to Los Angeles, California. Melanie attended California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in the bucolic central coast area of California where she graduated with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in pre-law.
Melanie married her husband in 1992 and they moved together to the Washington D.C. area to attend graduate school at George Washington University, where Melanie completed a year of graduate studies in Public Policy with an emphasis in Women’s Studies. Melanie currently works for the law firm of Foley & Lardner, LLP, as the Intellectual Property Training & Development Manager. Melanie volunteered at the Smithsonian National Zoo for many years as docent on the Cheetah Conservation Station, where she would speak with members of the public about cheetahs. It was during this time that Melanie first became affiliated with Cheetah Conservation Fund. Her role with the organization grew and several years assisting with the D.C. Chapter annual Fall gala and procuring the event space from Foley & Lardner, LLP, she took a leadership role has co-chaired the past two years and is co-chairing the event again this year.
Melanie dreams of the day when she can travel herself to CCF, Namibia in person and see all the work done there. Melanie resides in Virginia with her husband, their two children, a dog, a cat, and a fish.