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Melanie Brown

Position: Movement Leader
Categories: Movement Leader

Melanie R. Brown is a global speaker and writer on racial justice, philanthropy and Black women’s intersectional leadership across the charitable sector. She began her career as an educator, teaching in Washington, D.C., Beijing, China and Hong Kong, before transitioning into philanthropy. With nearly 13 years in the field, Melanie’s grantmaking has focused on accelerating academic achievement for Black and Latinx students, dismantling systems of exclusionary discipline, advancing parent and youth organizing, disarming deficit narratives about Black men in the media and advocating for the rights of students of color with disabilities. She is currently a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she focuses on constituent engagement across the foundation’s education, economic and health priorities in the United States and Canada. Melanie is also an Atlantic Fellow in Social and Economic Equity at the London School of Economics. She has written for Alliance Magazine, the world’s leading publication for philanthropy and social investment and addressed audiences in Havana, Cuba, Oxford, UK and Cape Town, South Africa. She serves on boards for the American University Alumni Association and the Women’s Funding Network, an international network of women’s funds. Melanie earned degrees from American, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon universities. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and resides in Washington, D.C. with her wife, Natalie.