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Jelani Odlum

Jelani Odlum Headshot min 1

Jelani Odlum (she/her) is a Senior Associate Program Officer on the Oceans team at Builders Initiative. She focuses on developing partnerships with organizations and grantees to advance solutions for healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems, including building climate resilience in the ocean, scaling sustainable fisheries management, and catalyzing restorative aquaculture.

Jelani is passionate about philanthropy’s role in seeding innovation and accelerating environmental solutions. 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 nonprofit 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 across industries.

Jelani earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California. She currently serves on the board of The Wildwoods Foundation, which provides nonprofit nature-based programs and environmental education for schools and families in Los Angeles. In her free time, you can often find her organizing a whiskey tasting or exploring a hiking trail with her dog, Rye.