S. Melody Frierson is project manager for the office of the CEO and President & Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) at New America. She is responsible for planning, overseeing, and leading different initiatives and projects from ideation to completion at both the executive and organization-wide level. She interacts with a range of internal and external stakeholders, while managing several moving project parts simultaneously. She also provides executive support for the President and CTO.
She previously served as special assistant to the President and COO at New America and as project manager for New America’s Millennial Public Policy Fellowship, which sought to create opportunities for promising young adults from diverse backgrounds to deepen their engagement with public policy and advance solutions to challenges facing their generation. In that role she designed programming for and managed the day-to-day operations of the Millennial Fellowship.
Prior to joining New America, Frierson served as youth engagement coordinator at the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Oxford, Miss. At the Winter Institute, she created, refined, and directed several programs, including the Summer Youth Institute - a nine-day experiential learning program for Mississippi high school students that uses local civil rights history to understand non-traditional forms of leadership and civic engagement. 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 a 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.