Caro and Webb promoted at the Nanovic Institute

Author: Connor Bran

Monica Caro and Melanie Webb

Monica Caro, M.A., J.D., has been appointed Senior Associate Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame, effective May 1, 2019.

In this role, Caro will oversee staff administration, Institute operations, and a number of initiatives in Europe, particularly the Institute’s Catholic Universities Partnership. William Collins Donahue, Director of the Nanovic Institute and Cavanaugh Professor of the Humanities, shared that “I am delighted to promote Monica Caro to the position of Senior Associate Director. In this new role, she will supervise the Institute's staff and work with me on strategic planning and mission implementation. Monica brings a wealth of managerial experience to the job, as well as a great love of the Institute. She is a consummate diplomat, a keen analyst, and a caring colleague. To those who have the privilege of getting to know her, she reveals a delicious sense of humor. She is perfect for this leadership role."

Caro has served the Nanovic Institute with increasing levels of responsibility over the past decade. She developed a Catholic Leadership program for university administrators in the Institute’s Catholic Universities Partnership in Central and Eastern Europe. To date, the program has brought almost 60 individuals to the university for training with support from external funding. She also stewarded the Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies through its early years and has played an important role in the organization of multiple conferences in Global Gateway facilities in Europe. Caro has also played an important role in shaping the effective and collegial staff of the Nanovic Institute. 

"It's difficult to overstate the value of a colleague as faithful, competent, and hard-working as Monica," said Anthony Monta, Associate Director of the Nanovic Institute. "She has been a joy to work with, a true friend, and has never failed to reward one's confidence that things will develop not just as they might, but as they should."

In 2013 the University recognized Monica with a Presidential Values Award. The citation commended her “dedication and integrity” that contributed to the Institute’s completing “events and projects at the level of quality and excellence which has now become a standard for the institute.” Prior to her work at the Nanovic Institute, Monica served in the federal court system as law clerk to the Honorable Daniel A. Manion on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and to the late Honorable Paul V. Gadola on the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She conducted extensive research for the judges and advised them on a variety of criminal and civil matters.

A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Monica pursued a Ph.D. in philosophy, receiving her M.A., at the University of Texas at Austin, before being recruited into the inaugural class of Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There she earned her J.D. magna cum laude while serving as Managing Editor of the law review.

Caro expresses enthusiasm to continue her service to the Institute at this new level. “I am grateful to contribute to building relationships, supporting scholarship, and offering transformative experiences to students that connect Europe and Notre Dame. The work has expanded my own global perspective.”

Melanie Webb has also been promoted at the Nanovic Institute, now serving as Operations Assistant Director. After a 20-year career in broadcasting, Webb has served the Institute since 2011 as Events Program Manager. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in film-video studies from the University of Michigan, and spent her junior year at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England.  

"I'm delighted to appoint Melanie Webb as the Institute's Operations Assistant Director, which moves her into a leadership position at the Institute," Donahue said.  "As supervisor of event planning and implementation, she will bring her many years of expertise in that area to the new job, even as she expands her role to include financials and other key operations responsibilities. Mel is always one step ahead of me, solving problems before I even see them. She leads in a way that is supportive, substantive, and cheerful. And her sense of humor helps all of us through the day!"

Caro stated, "Melanie has consistently embodied the Institute's mission for remarkable hospitality through extraordinary attention to details, creative event designs, and gracious communications with visitors. I am grateful that she will continue to oversee events, while turning her attention to administrative tasks and support at the Institute. In her new role, Melanie will provide critical service to students, faculty, and visitors with her characteristic energy, warmth, and collegiality. I look forward to our continued work together."

"With her excellent taste, energy, and enthusiasm, Melanie quickly broke the mould of 'event coordinator' when she came to the Institute, and then she set about widening everyone's sense of what logistical coordination could mean," remarked Monta. "It's wonderful to see her mastery of elegance and detail so justly rewarded!"

The Nanovic Institute is a unit of the Keough School of Global Affairs and is committed to enriching the intellectual culture of Notre Dame by creating an integrated, interdisciplinary home for students and faculty to explore the evolving ideas, cultures, beliefs, and institutions that shape Europe today. Learn more at