Marilyn Melkonian is the founder of Telesis Corporation, a Washington-DC based business that plans, finances and builds urban communities. She has over 30 years of experience in housing policy, neighborhood development and finance. She serves on several boards, including the Eisenhower Foundation, the Brookings Institute's Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and the National Housing Trust which she founded in 1986 and currently serves as its chairperson. Former positions include Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Carter; General counsel for Lucasfilm Ltd; and counsel to the architecture firm of John Carl Warnecke & Associates. She practiced law for 15 years in New York and Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of Stanford University Law School.