Melanie Kahl champions communities-driven design processes to create systems, experiences, and services where people flourish. She led interdisciplinary social innovation projects across five continents and facilitated participatory design processes in 15+ countries.
A builder by nature, Melanie has grown multiple internal studios and initiatives. Most recently, she launched Facebook’s first Community-in-Residence program, investing $5M in community builders on the forefront of equity, mutual aid, and accessibility. She was an early leader at Dalberg Design, where she cultivated portfolios on gender, cities, and organizational design with clients such as Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, Gates Foundation, and the World Bank.
She began her career at the intersection of design and learning, using participatory processes to design new schools with CannonDesign, Perkins&Will, and the Chicago Public Schools' New School Incubator. She has walked alongside the launch of over 25 schools, including Chicago’s first Montessori-inspired high school.
Melanie holds degrees in Social Policy and Business from Northwestern University and is visiting faculty with Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design. She loves to think about how to unleash welcome, belonging, and wholeness in our modern world. She serves as a design advisor to the International Rescue Committee's Airbel Lab (IRC), a trustee for the Awesome Foundation, and an ambassador to Women in Innovation (WIN). Melanie is an avid pedestrian, a proud aunt, and a believer in potlucks.