S. Melody Frierson is the chief of staff of New America’s executive office. She serves as a strategic thought partner to the CEO and President & Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) and works to support the missions and goals of New America. In addition to supervising the day-to-day operations of the executive office and its staff, she provides infrastructure management to the Board of Directors, and she manages special projects like the organization’s racial equity transformation.
Frierson previously was a project manager for the executive office, a special assistant to the President & Chief Operating Officer, and the project manager for New America’s Millennial Public Policy Fellowship.
Before joining New America, she served as youth engagement coordinator at the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Oxford, Miss. At the Winter Institute, she directed several programs, including the Summer Youth Institute, a nine-day experiential learning program for high school students using local civil rights history. As a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, Frierson worked at the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition (JRC), a Los Angeles-based Black LGBTQ political advocacy non-profit organization.
Frierson holds an M.A. degree from UCLA in African American studies and B.A. degrees from the University of Mississippi in African American studies and Psychology/Gender studies.