Meyer Memorial Trust is excited to announce that Kimberly Melton will join us as our first vice president of impact. The newly-created role will oversee Meyer’s strategic implementation, specifically the work of its programs, evaluation, grant operations and communications staff.
Melton has more than a decade of experience leading teams and complex projects, working alongside stakeholders to build community-wide plans. As chief of staff to former Multnomah County Chair, Deborah Kafoury, she was responsible for developing the office’s overall policy agenda, overseeing the county’s policy offices, special projects and budget process. She also coordinated the County’s COVID-19 Policy Leadership Team to support decision-making on key issues through the pandemic, including mandates, new initiatives, partnerships, equity policies and locations for community testing and vaccinations.
As a senior advisor, Melton also led policy initiatives to transform the county’s investments in immigration, youth programs and culturally specific services.
Melton and Meyer CEO, Toya Fick met in 2012 at educational advocacy nonprofit Stand for Children. Melton was the state communications and regional organizing director and Fick was the state government affairs director.
“I have been in awe of Kim's brilliance, warmth and passion for community since the day we met," Fick said. "Kim had covered the Legislature as a journalist and was a veteran of state policy and politics. As a newcomer to Oregon politics, I spent the better part of our time together learning as much as humanly possible from her.
Her breadth of accomplishments, intelligence and lived experience uniquely position her to take on this role. Her approach to community transformation is rooted in building relationships, collaboration and leading from a place of grace and integrity.”
Melton began her professional career as a journalist in New Orleans, Louisiana and joined The Oregonian in 2004, where she covered education, state government and politics.
As a board member at Social Venture Partners, a venture philanthropy organization, she served on a team of staff and stakeholders that launched the community efforts to bring preschool to all children in Multnomah County. She was also part of the Oregon Community Foundation’s Metro Leadership Council for six years and served on the team that launched Oregon’s Black Student Success Project and the GoKids! program.
Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Melton cites her father as an inspiration and influence.
“Though my Dad worked at a hotel by day, in the evenings and on weekends, he was also a community organizer for churches focused on social justice causes,” Melton said. “Sitting in the back of church fellowship halls watching their work helped me understand the power of listening to community voices, working across boundaries and belief systems to create real change and doing so grounded in grace, service and justice.“
Melton holds a Masters in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelors in African and African American Studies from Stanford University.
She starts work at Meyer on Sept. 27.