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The 2023 Candidates
Penn State Forward's Meet the Candidates Event | January 14th, 2023
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Class of 2007
B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising
Ali is a professional soccer player for Gotham FC. She’s appeared in 108 US women’s national team games—winning two World Cups and representing the US at the Olympics.
With the USWNT, Ali filed a 2016 wage-discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation. The resulting historic 2022 collective bargaining agreement secured equal pay for USWNT players. As an Athlete Ally Ambassador, she works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes, and endangers LGBTQI people. In 2018, her peers elected her to the USSF Athlete Council to represent them at the highest level.
Ali graduated from Penn State in 2007 and led the Penn State women’s soccer team to four consecutive Big Ten championship wins. She regularly returns to Happy Valley to speak with students and support Penn State Athletics. Penn Stater Magazine featured her in 2021, with a cover story: “A Category All of Her Own.”
College of the Liberal Arts and Schreyer Honors College, 2006
B.A. in International Politics and B.A. in Spanish
Melinda is an Attorney-Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where she represents the United States in international disputes and advises on international law, and a proud working mom who wants to ensure all Penn State graduates can build a life they love.
She is passionate about closing educational opportunity gaps. With Teach For America, Melinda worked to provide equal opportunities to students from all backgrounds. In graduate school, she helped undergraduates as a residential and academic advisor. Now, Melinda mentors Penn State students interested in law and policy.
She holds two bachelor’s degrees from Penn State and a MPP and JD from Harvard. At international organizations including the UN and World Economic Forum, she’s advised on international law and policy, sustainable development, and climate risk.
Melinda is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association and the 2020 recipient of the Department of Political Science’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Uma (Pattarkine) Moriarity
Smeal College of Business and Schreyer Honors College, 2014
B.S. in Finance, B.S. in Accounting, and Master of Accountancy (MAcc)
Uma Moriarity is a Senior Investment Strategist and the Global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Lead for CenterSquare Investment Management, a $14b real estate firm, where she leads the creation of climate-smart investment policy.
At Penn State, Uma earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in four years and founded Schreyer Student Council benefitting THON. She oversaw THON fundraising efforts exceeding $40,000 and represented the organization as a dancer her junior year—she continues to support THON as an alum.
In addition to her work promoting sustainability in business at CenterSquare, she serves with multiple sustainability groups across the country, including Smeal’s Sustainability Advisory Board. In 2023, Schreyer’s Scholar Alumni Society recognized Uma’s professional achievement and leadership skills with the Outstanding GOLD Scholar Alumni Award.
Uma is excited to give back to Penn State by ensuring our financial transparency, sustainability, and long-term fiscal health. She’s an Alumni Association lifetime member.