By Sarah-Grace Battles, MNA Communications Manager

Nellie Tsai serves as MNA’s Community and Civic Engagement Director, focusing on initiatives that activate citizen leadership in communities across Michigan. Her favorite part of her job, she says, is meeting and interacting with so many people who are working to make Michigan more inclusive and equitable across various issue areas.

Nellie moved to Detroit after receiving her M.B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. While at MNA, she has led a K-12 civic leadership program that has connected youth to community causes and issues. Nellie is an AmeriCorps alumna and serves as the National Alumni Association Board Co-Chair for City Year, an AmeriCorps program that provides intensive support to public school students who are struggling. Additionally, she holds a K-12 Administrator Certificate from the state of Michigan.

She spends her free time planning activities for her family and thinking about food — either to try or to make. Nellie has also seen every episode of “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation.” “I’m also a pretty big reader,” she says, “but haven’t read as much this year since having a baby. But Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and Haruki Murakami’s ‘Norwegian Wood’ were totally worth the effort to fit in.”

Nellie defines success as waking up with a clear sense of purpose each day, and she works consistently to push service, diversity, equity and inclusion to the forefront of discussions in the nonprofit sector.