Mendi Blue Paca is a fourth generation New Havener. Her father and mother, Malcolm and Ruby, worked respectively for four decades each at Yale University (Local 35) and New Haven Public Schools (Local 884).
Mendi attended St. Thomas Day School, Worthington Hooker Elementary School and Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School in New Haven. She graduated from Hamden Hall Country Day School in Hamden, CT.
Mendi has a Bachelor in Economics cum laude from Harvard College; a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Meet Mendi Blue Paca
Mendi began her career as a registered broker and compliance officer at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York City. She has served as a strategic consultant to more than 40 of the largest U.S.-based philanthropic organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates, Ford, William and Flora Hewlett, W.K. Kellogg, Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard and Walton Family foundations. Mendi was a growth and innovation advisor to the president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and an interim associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which has been repeatedly rated the country’s top law firm. In 2009 Mendi founded a new-venture consulting agency servicing social enterprises and technology businesses.
After living in Boston, New York City, Washington D.C. and Madrid, Spain for thirteen years, Mendi returned to New Haven in 2013 to make a difference in her hometown. She served as Director of the Office of Development and Policy for the City of New Haven from 2013-2016. She secured more than $15 million, 130 times her office’s operating costs, in competitive state, federal, foundation and corporate resources; conceived of and launched Ignite! New Haven, a crowdfunding platform to facilitate alternative fundraising for city departments, local entrepreneurs and nonprofits; and created a proprietary funding resource that directly enabled community organizations to raise tens of thousands of dollars.
Mendi served as First Vice President and Resource Development Chair for the board of the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven. She was a volunteer board consultant to the Biomedical Science Careers Program at Harvard Medical School. Since 2005 she has been on the Harvard Alumni Admissions Committee.
Mendi is passionate about entrepreneurship and mental health awareness and loves trying new recipes and planning special events. She is a hopeful owner of a labradoodle (if Marcus will let her get one). Mendi is nostalgic for the days when New Haven children could take reduced-price horseback riding lessons at Yale University’s stables and there was a movie theater on Broadway.