Alumni Awards
26 September 2019

Julie Melichar: Alumna of the Year

Julie Melichar is the Citizen Mobilisation and Communication Officer at SOS MEDITERRANEE, a humanitarian association that rescues distressed people in the Mediterranean Sea. She earned her Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute in 2017, with a specialisation in conflict and peacebuilding. 

Julie Melichar will receive the Alumna of the Year award at the Alumni Reunion gala dinner on 2 November.

As a student, Ms Melichar co-launched the Migration Initiative to give French courses to asylum seekers. She also worked at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as an Associate on Migration. In 2016, she spent her summer as a consultant for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Beirut, Lebanon where she conducted background research on protection issues and political and security developments in “hotspots”.  She also worked in Greece as a humanitarian worker for Lighthouse Relief.

In 2011, she volunteered at Amnesty International to help asylum seekers. She also co-founded an organisation to teach German to people living in asylum seekers centres in Berlin and before that, in Peru. 

As an activist, Julie Melichar embodies civil society, which refuses give up, and one of the Institute’s core values: solidarity.

julie melichar
With a bit of willingness, we can do many things. We start small, but I hope it will snowball!

In 2016, the Graduate Institute Alumni Association Committee created the Alumni Awards to honour the outstanding achievements of the Institute's alumni. The Awards are divided into four categories:

  • Alumnus of the Year
  • Young Alumnus
  • Commitment to the Institute and Alumni Association
  • Lifetime Professional Achievement

Not all awards are given every year. After consulting with the 19,200 members of the alumni community, winners are selected by Committee members through a vote. Nominated alumni that have not yet been chosen remain on a list of potential awardees for the upcoming years. This year, we have the pleasure of welcoming all of the Alumni Award recipients at the Alumni Reunion gala dinner in Geneva on 2 November at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Alumnus of the Year award recognises the outstanding achievements of a former student in his/her chosen field of work within the last year. Consideration is given to alumni who have been honoured in their field or who have been recognised nationally or internationally.