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Panelist Bio


Melanie Guste
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO)

Dr. Guste earned both her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. She has also received Master’s Degrees in Administration and Supervision (M.Ed.) and Applied Spirituality (MAS).

Dr. Guste has over 20 years of administrative experience in human and social services. As an independent consultant in Baton Rouge for the last 11 years, she has worked extensively with nonprofit, church and state government agencies, including: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - The Caring Foundation; the Pew Civic Entrepreneur Project; the Academic Distinction Fund; the Diocese of Baton Rouge; and several state agencies. She specializes in large-scale educational and organizational design and change initiatives.

Dr. Guste is a native of New Orleans and an active member of the Society of the Sacred Heart, an international Catholic community of religious sisters in 49 countries of the world and 19 geographic areas of the United States. In Louisiana, the community is located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Grand Coteau.

Current Topic


02/16 - Effects of Expansion: Medicaid in Louisiana

How will the lives of those who now have access to health care change?

Special Presentation


12/15 - Election 2015: An Analysis

What strategies did each of the major candidates use during the Governor's race?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


03/16 - Justice on Hold: Louisiana’s Public Defender Shortage

How serious of a problem is the shortage of public defenders in Louisiana?

Recent Topics


01/16 - Police POV: Body Cameras in Louisiana

What happens when police and the people they arrest have different versions of their encounters?


11/15 - Living Below the Line

What is living in poverty like?


10/15 - Funding the Future: Early Childhood Opportunities

How can improving early childhood programs improve the state’s educational outcomes, workforce, and economics?


09/15 - Agenda Louisiana

What issues will candidates face and where do they stand?

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