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Guest Background

Melanie R. Brown joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in July 2015 as Senior Program Officer, U.S. Policy, Advocacy & Communications. She serves as advocacy lead for the foundation’s work in Colorado and manages a national portfolio focused on elevating teacher voice in education policy.

Before coming to Gates, Melanie worked for eight years as a program officer at The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh, PA. While at Heinz, Melanie’s grant making focused on achieving equity in education for African American students and students from low-income communities through advancing more socially and racially just teaching and learning environments; empowering parents and youth to engage in school reform through grassroots community organizing; and supporting policy and practice changes to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.

Prior to her work in philanthropy, Melanie worked as a middle and high school English teacher at the SEED Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. where she also led the school’s musical theater program. In 2007, Melanie was named a Harvard Crimson China Cultural Exchange Foundation Senior Fellow, teaching English in Hong Kong and Beijing, China.

A Pittsburgh native, Melanie received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and literature from American University, a master’s degree in Arts in Education from Harvard University, and a master’s degree in public management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Website: www.gatesfoundation.org/

Twitter: @MsMelanieBrown

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/melanierbrown