Project 500 Leadership



Melissa L. bradley, director

Melissa L. Bradley is a Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She is Founder/Director of Project 500; appointed the Entrepreneur in Residence for the District of Columbia; serves as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution; and is Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).


Alejandra Y. Castillo, Advisor

Alejandra Y. Castillo is Managing Partner of OPES Global Strategy Group.  

In 2014, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Alejandra to serve as the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). As National Director, Alejandra designed and launched the Inclusive Innovation Initiative (I3) focused on increasing minority entrepreneurs in the Technology Transfer and Innovation eco-system.  


marissa mahoney, advisor

Marissa Mahoney is a Program Associate at Ascend at the Aspen Institute.
Marissa graduated from Emory University in 2013 with joint graduate degrees in business (MBA) and theology (M.Div.). She has extensive experience in investment banking and private equity real estate, as well as social entrepreneurship, non-profits, investment analysis and strategic planning. 


aerica banks, advisor

Aerica Banks is a patent policy analyst in Google's DC office. In this capacity, she monitors the legislative and legal patent landscape and integrates diversity initiatives into Google's patent strategy. Additionally, she is the COO of the Asian Google Network, one of Google's largest employee resource groups. 

art stevens, advisor

Art Stevens has extensive experience in innovation, impact investing and business development. He is currently leading business development at ImpactUS Marketplace. Prior to this position, Art served as Director of Social Innovation Projects at PayPal.