Carissa Patrone Maikuri

Program Coordinator, Drawdown Lift

Carissa Patrone Maikuri is a passionate connector who enjoys finding and amplifying the interconnectedness and synergies of all things. As the program coordinator of Drawdown Lift, Carissa advances partnership engagement and written communications that support the intersection of climate solutions, human well-being, and poverty alleviation, particularly in rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  

Before joining Project Drawdown, Carissa served as a Peace Corps volunteer working alongside three high school English teachers in the mountains of Telpaneca, Nicaragua. Her experience there deeply shaped her career and elevated the need for community development that is people-centered, equitable, and sustainable. Upon her return, she worked as the first Peace Corps campus recruiter in West Michigan. Most recently, Carissa worked as equity program manager with the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and served on the planning committee for the City of Grand Rapids’ Community Collaboration on Climate Change and NAACP of Greater Grand Rapids’ Environmental Justice Community Coalition. 

Carissa earned a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in nonprofit management and leadership and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish and communications studies from Grand Valley State University. She also holds a certificate in climate change and health from the Yale School of Public Health. Outside of work, Carissa can be found running by one of the many lakes in the Twin Cities, playing soccer, or reading a good book outdoors.