The University of New Orleans College of Liberal Arts announced that Melissa Ehlinger is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumna Award. Ehlinger is a project-based consultant in economic development and urban planning. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from UNO.
Each year the College of Liberal Arts identifies a graduate who has a distinguished career in his or her chosen profession. Ehlinger was presented with the award at the College of Liberal Arts Honors Convocation, which was held on April 14 in the Recital Hall of the UNO Performing Arts Center.
Prior to her current role as a consultant, Ehlinger served as senior vice president for strategy and business development at the New Orleans Business Alliance. During her tenure with the organization, she was also interim president and CEO and was an integral part of crafting the alliance’s overall economic development strategy. She also oversaw day-to-day business attraction and retention functions, as well as the organization’s research department.
Ehlinger’s previous experience in urban economic development includes work with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, where she served as a project manager in residential and commercial corridor redevelopment. She was also an attorney with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
A native of New Orleans, Ehlinger holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a law degree from George Washington University and a master’s in urban planning from UNO.