#21: Caroline Meledo on ‘The Hair in the Soup’

My guest today is Caroline Meledo, Senior Manager for Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights at Hilton Worldwide. Starting with a Masters in International Relations from John Hopkins University followed by an early internship with Professor John Ruggie, the United Nations’ Special Representative on Human Rights, Caroline has rapidly built a career as one of the leading international corporate executives working on human rights anywhere in the world.

I have the lifelong bragging rights that I gave Caroline her first proper job whilst I was at Sodexo. We were lucky to have her – not only was she way smarter than me, but also way younger, more energetic and with so much more about her than I ever had my early twenties. It was clear that it wouldn’t be long before she moved on to bigger and better things, which sure enough she did!

I caught up with Caroline online from her office in Washington, D.C.. We talk about formative experiences around parents’ role modelling the importance of law as a tool as well as the impact of growing up with two older brothers making her a fighter. We talk about how and why she discounted diplomacy and journalism in favour of a business career, the importance of mentors throughout her career so far and the pleasure she’s now experiencing from having menses. We also talk about strategy vs tactics, and the business of successfully framing arguments – to whom and how…oh, and what the French mean when they refer to someone as ‘the hair in the soup’!

Tony Cooke

Tony Cooke is an internationally-recognised sustainability leader with over 25 years spent at the nexus of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship, developing and executing strategies for business, governments and not-for-profit organisations across a wide variety of sectors. He now manages a portfolio of interests including; senior corporate counsel, executive coaching, non-executive roles and thought leadership through a combination of research, writing and podcasting. Visit my personal blog at http://tonycooke.wordpress.com

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