"There is never time in the future when we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is now."

James Baldwin

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Mesu Strategies was founded in 2016 to help leaders across sectors address systems and achieve meaningful results for low-income people, communities of color, and other under-invested groups.

Based in Oakland, California, we work with partners in the region and across the state and nation who share a commitment to health and opportunity.

MESU is a philosophy for arriving at transformational change by mixing things up with humility, empathy and powerful purpose to cut through complexity and birth new opportunities and realities.

MESU strategies are those approaches that leverage the most promising practices and partnerships to achieve shared vision and impact.


Jme Suannah McLean, MCP, MPH, Founder and Principal of Mesu Strategies, LLC, has worked for nearly 20 years to address urban development, public health, and education to improve conditions for low-income people and communities of color. Her pioneering work has resulted in innovations in the design, implementation, and assessment of policies, programs, and initiatives at the federal, state and local levels; the forging of long-lasting multi-sector collaborations to address systems change in communities nationwide; and sharper, stronger organizations and coalitions across fields and sectors.

Before founding Mesu Strategies, Ms. McLean served at multiple institutions focused on advancing equitable social change, including PolicyLink, the Convergence Partnership (a collaborative of foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, The California Endowment, The Kresge Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Nemours, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others), and the United Nations Population Fund in Beijing. Earlier in her career, she held roles to support social change as an organizational consultant, grantmaker, educator and evaluator in the public and private sectors.  Ms. McLean currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Millennials Advisory Board for Young Invincibles, and the Executive Board of a local nonprofit preschool.

Ms. McLean earned dual master’s degrees in urban planning and public health at the University of California, Berkeley at a time when the program had been long dormant. At Berkeley, she received the Foreign Language Areas Fellowship from the US Department of Education and multiple grant awards and scholarships from the school. She graduated from Middlebury College, where she designed a major in neuroscience as an Independent Scholar. Ms. McLean also studied Mandarin Chinese at the Harbin Institute of Technology and Capital Normal University in Beijing.  Today, she regularly engages in professional development and continuing education on topics related to organizational development, transformational consulting, professional coaching, public leadership and measurement and evaluation.

Ms. McLean’s passions for social justice and lifelong learning were fostered at an early age, growing up in a working-class, multi-generational, immigrant household in New England. She hopes to instill these values in her two kids, whom she is raising together with her husband in Oakland, California.