Melissa DeShields

CEO and Partner

A principled leader and expert project manager, Melissa helps organizations build strong teams, develop effective strategy, and execute high-impact projects. As CEO of Frontline, Melissa actively fosters a culture of learning, reflection, and deep connection. She takes pride in all aspects of her work, from building client relationships to overseeing financial operations to supporting and mentoring staff. Melissa considers herself an unleasher of talent and a celebrator of Black brilliance. As such, she works tirelessly to ensure Frontline acknowledges, affirms, and rewards the genius, creativity, and wisdom of staff members and community partners.

Melissa has been a member of Frontline’s senior leadership team since 2015, helming projects for Grantmakers for Girls of Color, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. Prior to joining Frontline, Melissa launched her own consulting practice and held senior-level positions at the Urban Affairs Coalition and The Philadelphia Foundation. She is a graduate of Rutgers University.

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