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N.C. Community Development Initiative hires key program officers

The N.C. Community Development Initiative has hired program officers to lead key programmatic and financial investment strategies.

Meena Ahuja with textMeena Ahuja, senior program officer, will leverage the Initiative’s lending and grant-making to help the state’s community economic development sector develop sustainable business opportunities and strategies. Ahuja will develop and manage tools and training that enable community organizations and leaders to create replicable, sustainable models for building businesses that meet the triple bottom line of positive economic, social and environmental impact.

Millie Brobston, program officer for grant investments, will direct all aspects of the Initiative’s new grant-making strategy, which is designed to make strategic financial investments that promote sustainable community-based enterprises and communities across North Carolina. Brobston will develop and implement all aspects of the grant program, from design to evaluation, and serve as the primary contact for grantee organizations.

Ahuja brings 21 years of experience in nonprofit management and entrepreneurship development. Previously, she served as program manager for the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development’s Women’s Business Center in Fayetteville, where she launched and managed the center’s annual trade show, microloan program and peer-to-peer mentoring for small businesses. A native of India, Ahuja served as senior manager for HSIIDC Ltd. before relocating to the United States in 2004. The state-owned development organization develops industrial parks in India and offers loans to businesses.

Millie Brobston with textBrobston brings 16 years of experience in fundraising and philanthropy. She worked as director of resource development for the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that works to protect homeownership and family wealth by fighting predatory lending practices. Before moving to North Carolina in 2008, Brobston lived in Nicaragua and helped found the Central American Women’s Fund, which distributes grants to women’s organizations.  Previously, she was program officer for community economic development and participation at Public Welfare Foundation, a private foundation in Washington, D.C.

For more information, contact Ahuja at (919) 835-6006, and Brobston at (919) 835-6000,

The N.C. Community Development Initiative leads North Carolina’s collaborative community economic development effort, driving innovation, investment and action to create prosperous, sustainable communities. For more information, visit

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