Melinda Fine

Melinda Fine, Senior Fellow

Dr. Melinda Fine's career in education, civic engagement and social justice spans three decades.  She is the Director of Education at Public Interest Projects (PIP), a national intermediary (501c3 public charity) that operates grantmaking, strategic planning, and capacity building initiatives for institutional donors investing in social justice and human rights issues. A member of PIP's Senior Management team, Melinda also directs Communities for Public Education Reform (CPER), a national funders collaborative that supports grassroots community-driven efforts working to guarantee educational excellence, equity and opportunity for every child in low-income communities of color. Since 2007, CPER has raised $32 million from 75 foundations, providing direct grants and field building resources to grassroots groups and coalitions seeking to strengthen parent and student voice, and supporting community organizations, educators, and other allies that integrate equity and excellence into their reform agendas. In leading CPER, Melinda draws on professional experience in leading and managing large-scale, complex, multi-party initiatives and in directing strategic thinking and learning toward results-driven programs and practices that yield positive outcomes for youth, families and communities.

Before joining Public Interest Projects, Melinda led Fine Consulting, an independent consulting practice providing strategic planning, program development, organizational learning, and research and evaluation services. Focused in the fields of education, youth development, and civic engagement, Melinda's former clients included private foundations, national nonprofits, and government agencies. Prior to founding Fine Consulting, Melinda was Assistant Research Director at Sesame Workshop, where she led studies that informed the development of Ghostwriter, a television series to promote children’s literacy skills. In the 1980s, Melinda founded and led the International Program of the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, where she was responsible for coordinating peace movement activism and advocacy efforts between US-based organizations and NGOs internationally.

In addition to her affiliation as senior fellow at the Research Center for Leadership and Action, Melinda serves on the Scholars Board of Facing History and Ourselves. She is a former district-wide elected member of the Community Education Council for New York City’s District 2, Region 9, and former fellow of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Melinda’s numerous publications include two books, scholarly articles, white papers, landscape analyses, research reports, and layperson briefs. She holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College.