SOE School of Education
B.A. Education & Literature, American University Master of Education, Harvard University Masters of Public Management, Carnegie Mellon University
Melanie R. Brown is a speaker and writer on philanthropy, gender and racial justice. She began her career as an educator, teaching in Washington, D.C., Beijing, China, and Hong Kong, before transitioning into philanthropy. Melanie has nearly 15 years in the philanthropic sector and currently works as Deputy Director, Public Engagement & Insights, North America at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Melanie is a Senior Atlantic Fellow in Social and Economic Equity at the London School of Economics where she investigates Black women’s intersectional leadership across the global philanthropic and charitable sectors. Through this work, Melanie has spoken to audiences in Oxford, UK, Cape Town, South Africa and Havana, Cuba. In 2020, Melanie was named a BMe Vanguard Fellow, a network of leaders committed to centering discussions of racial equity on Black people’s aspirations and contributions.
Melanie is an adjunct instructor at the American University (AU) School of Education and serves as the Vice President of Operations of the AU Alumni Association Board. She is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Funding Network, the largest philanthropic network of foundations, funds and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls around the world.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Melanie earned degrees from American, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon universities. She resides in Washington, D.C.