President & CEO
Melanca Clark is president and CEO of Hudson-Webber Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to improving quality of life in Detroit. The foundation’s core mission areas are community and economic development, safe and just communities, the built environment and arts and culture.
As president and CEO, Clark oversees the overall operations, grant making and administration of the foundation. Clark has demonstrated innovative and collaborative leadership while striving to build strong communities throughout her career. Prior to joining Hudson-Webber Foundation, she served in key leadership roles in the Obama administration.
Most recently, Clark served the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as chief of staff of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), a grant-making component of the department. At COPS, she devised creative funding strategies and partnerships to advance community policing and police reform. As senior counsel with the DOJ’s Office for Access to Justice, Clark was a co-architect of a strategy for increasing federal support for civil legal aid, including through the creation of the Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, and helped develop and implement a number of other strategies for increasing legal counsel for people unable to afford lawyers. As a senior policy advisor with the White House Domestic Policy Council, Clark convened foundations and key stakeholders to enlist support for and communicate President Obama’s priorities with respect to enhancing fairness in the criminal and juvenile system, strategically aligning philanthropic and private sector investments.
Clark also served as counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, was a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at the Gibbons Law Firm, and was a Skadden Fellow and assistant counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. She was also a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., U.S. District Court of New Jersey, and a litigation associate in the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Clark earned her law degree from Harvard Law School, and her undergraduate degree from Brown University. Clark serves on the boards of the Center for Employment Opportunities, the Council of Michigan Foundations, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Michigan Future Inc., and the Michigan Center for Youth Justice, and the advisory boards of LISC Detroit, and the University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab. She resides in Detroit with her husband Moddie Turay and two children.