Anchi Mei is the Founder and Executive Director of MAKE Projects. MAKE stands for Merging Agriculture, Kitchens and Employment, and is an employment social enterprise operating under fiscal sponsorship through Mission Edge San Diego, a nonprofit and small business incubator.
MAKE Projects was initially conceived at the refugee resettlement agency International Rescue Committee (IRC), where Anchi was the Senior Program Manager of IRC’s largest food and farming program and became a model for IRC offices nationwide. Along the way, Anchi found a way to connect the power of hands-on, food-based programming with the hardest aspect of refugee resettlement in San Diego: employment and economic stability. MAKE Projects was borne from this search to find a durable solution for low-income, refugee families to overcome poverty and build a successful life in America.
Prior to MAKE Projects and the IRC, Anchi was an urban designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. At MIG, she led urban design and community planning projects for cities throughout California, including San Francisco, Napa, and San Bruno. Anchi has also worked for several non-profit arts and educational organizations supporting the culturally-diverse, low-income communities of San Francisco’s Mission District.
Altogether, Anchi possesses over 20 years of experience in social change, program design, project management and impact evaluation with an emphasis on under-served and vulnerable populations. Originally born in Taipei, Taiwan, Anchi came to the U.S. when she was four years old and grew up in a working-class, Chinese-American household. She understands intimately two ends of the immigrant spectrum in America: growing up with financial adversity and cultural barriers, as well as realizing her academic and professional dreams. Anchi is thrilled to be leading an organization that is able to provide more opportunities for refugees and immigrants to achieve their dreams, while also building a more inclusive and intercultural world that can learn to live in peace.
Anchi has a B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in City and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture.