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Board & Staff

Marielle Downes

Marielle Filholm Downes is a dynamic professional with over 12 years of executive leadership in non-profit and business operations, strategic planning, and social services. Throughout her career, she has worked diligently to advance programs in order to ensure services, resources, and systems are designed to empower people, facilitate healing, and prevent further violence. She was a founding member of Project PEACE (Partnership to End Abuse in the Community for Everyone), a coordinated community response effort to implement the most effective and efficient array of prevention, protection, and support services to end domestic violence in the Arlington, Virginia community. In 2009, Marielle provided a leadership role to the Safety and Accountability Audit of Arlington County.

Concerned with the growing number of survivors of domestic violence who chose not to leave abusive relationships out of fear for their pets’ safety, Marielle partnered with the American Humane Association to allow survivors of domestic violence to bring their pets with them to an emergency shelter in Arlington under the PAWS program (now SAF-T). Marielle’s combination of personal and professional experiences allows her to be an ideal contributor in team-oriented leadership roles. She enjoys the partnership offered in regional and statewide coalitions and leverages the opportunity to effect change for the betterment of survivors and communities. With a background in child development and welfare, mutual competency supervision, and strengths-based empowering client services, she seeks to guide, educate, and inspire people.

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