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Jelani Odlum

Senior Associate Program Officer, Builders Initiative

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Jelani Odlum (she/her) is a Program Officer on the Oceans team at Builders Initiative. She develops impactful partnerships with organizations advancing solutions for healthy ocean ecosystems, with a focus on coastal climate resilience, marine plastic pollution, and the blue economy.

Jelani is passionate about philanthropy’s role in accelerating environmental solutions, regenerative economic models, and purpose-driven and inclusive innovation.

Prior to joining Builders Initiative, she was a Senior Program Manager at the Michelson 20MM Foundation, where she led their national intellectual property and entrepreneurship education program. Previously, she executed commercialization accelerator programs at Larta Institute, working with science and technology entrepreneurs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

She began her career consulting on U.S. business development for Singapore-based companies. Jelani earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California, and is currently pursuing a master's in natural resources stewardship from Colorado State University. She serves on the board of Wildwoods, which provides nonprofit nature-based programs for underserved students in Los Angeles. In her free time, you can often find her organizing a whiskey tasting or out hiking with her dog, Rye.