Melissa Kilby is the Executive Director of Girl Up. She believes that girls have a tremendous, often untapped, power to change the world.
Under her leadership, Girl Up helps girls access their inner power to advance girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities, transforming girls by exposing them to new possibilities, increasing their sense of confidence and positioning them to be changemakers in their communities. Having developed 58,000 girl leaders in nearly 120 countries and all 50 U.S. states, Girl Up is inspiring a generation of girls to be a force for gender equality and social change. Since joining Girl Up in 2011, Melissa has helped Girl Up raise more than $15 million for girls’ leadership programs and impact partners at the United Nations.
Prior to Girl Up, Melissa served as a National Director for OP3, where she helped to manage the nine-city multi-day fundraising walk series benefiting the Avon Foundation for Women, which raised an average of $45 million each season. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Journalism in Strategic Communication from University of Missouri – Columbia. In 2014, she was selected to participate in a program for non-profit leaders through Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Previous experience includes working with donor relations and marketing for Hinsdale Hospital and the American Red Cross of Chicago. She is Vice Chair of the board of directors of Girls on the Run of Washington DC. Melissa has appeared on MSNBC, written articles for Huffington Post and Harvard International Review, been quoted in many national press outlets and speaks regularly as an expert on GenZ girls and their insights in the world, most recently participating in TEDxQUINCY.