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Employee Highlight: Melody Temidara, Assistant Legal Advisor

Melody TemidaraMelody Temidara is the Assistant Legal Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the World Trade Organization. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Ms. Temidara works with a team of attorneys at the U.S. Mission to oversee general legal issues in dispute settlement.

“I consider it a great privilege to serve in this capacity, and I love that I have the opportunity to engage with our counterparts at this international forum.”, she says about her experience working with people from around the world.

Ms. Temidara grew up in Los Angeles, California. She earned her J.D. from Howard University School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Here she writes more about the importance of Black History Month and what it means to her:

“Black History Month is a time dedicated to celebrating and honoring the achievements of countless many in American history.  It is also a time to become increasingly educated on the obstacles that our ancestors have faced and overcome.  But crucially, it is a time to consider the role that I can play in ensuring that those adversities were not overcome in vain.  And because a nation thrives when its people thrive, it is a time to reflect on the role that service to others has played in our nation’s progress and history. 

“As awareness of one’s history is a key prerequisite to learning from and celebrating it, I have long taken opportunities to educate and support myself and others on the journey of increasing such knowledge.  One prior example is participating in and managing annual events that utilize creative media (i.e., film, stage plays, musical performances, and instrumental arrangements) to illuminate the hard-fought achievements of figures in Black history, and to share the stories of our nation’s African diaspora. 

“Black History Month is not just a celebration of my history, it is a celebration of our history.  It is a part of America’s multicultural fabric.  As such, we all have a responsibility to learn from the lessons that our history has afforded us, consider the roles we can play in contributing to progress in its various forms, and continue the process of celebrating, learning, and doing beyond the month of February. 

“I am inspired by all unsung heroes who, once equipped with such knowledge, take tangible steps to address racial disparities and effect positive change in their spheres of influence.  I aim to follow their example by continuing to take opportunities to serve communities around me whenever possible.  No step is too small.  And often, the first step of educating oneself and others is pivotal to honoring all that Black History Month represents.”


Editor note: this blog post is part of our Black History Month series highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of Black employees at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.