Michelle Shireen Muri
Director of External Affairs
Michelle comes to iLEAP with a world of experience in social justice. Prior to joining our team, she worked for ten years with Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where she enthusiastically combined her passion for advocacy with her impressive fundraising talents. During her time at NWIRP, the organization more than doubled in size and its constituency expanded tenfold.
Upon leaving NWIRP, Michelle carried out a life-long dream of extended travel. With little more than a sturdy backpack and a wide-open mind, she spent more than a year exploring some of the most remote corners of the globe. She returned from this “reflective sabbatical” with fabulous adventure scars and a renewed longing to create a world in which social justice leaders and grass roots movement builders are able to do powerful work in sustainable and healthy ways. Naturally, her priorities beautifully complement the culture and mission of iLEAP.
A graduate of Western Washington University, Michelle is an alumna of the 2013 Washington Equal Justice Community Leadership Academy, held by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She is also an alumna of the 2011 Lead The Way Fellowship from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, Women of Color Policy Network. As the child of parents forced to flee Iran and seek refuge in the U.S., Michelle has devoted her professional life to advocacy – specifically, to connecting people and their resources to the causes they value.
When she’s not applying her enthusiasm to work-related efforts, Michelle pursues a broad variety of interests. Chief among them: salsa dancing, motorcycle riding, scuba diving and stellar cuisine. She also identifies as a freelance explorer, aspiring food scholar and sci-fi nerd.
To date, the highlight of her activism career was doing immigrant rights work alongside justice icons Dolores Huerta and Favianna Rodriguez in the Nevada desert … at Burning Man. Sit down with her over a cup of tea and she’ll tell you all about it.
As the Director of External Affairs, Michelle leads our resource development and fundraising activities as well as shaping our communication strategies for internal and external audiences.