Melissa Kilby

Melissa (Hillebrenner) Kilby is the Director of Girl Up— an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation that works to build and maintain a teen girl constituency dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. As the head of Girl Up, Melissa leads a campaign that empowers people to advocate on behalf of girls around the world through online engagement and community mobilization.

Since joining in September 2011, Melissa has helped Girl Up raise over $12.7 million dollars to support a robust girl’s leadership platform and the crucial work of Girl Up’s United Nations partners. Melissa works with corporations such as Caterpillar, Johnson&Johnson, AOL and others as well as manages the grant making and investments to UN agencies including UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA and UN Women. She has traveled to Guatemala, Ethiopia, Malawi and India to meet girls directly benefitting from the work of Girl Up. Under Melissa’s leadership, Girl Up has grown into a global movement of more than 600,000 supporters and impacted the lives of 55,000 girls around the world.

Melissa served as Deputy Director of the campaign prior to becoming Director.  Before joining the UN Foundation, Melissa served as a National Director for OP3, where she helped to manage the nine-city multi-day fundraising walk series benefiting the Avon Foundation for Women, which raised an average of $45 million each season.  During her tenure with the Avon Walks, she oversaw national staff and remote field teams, and introduced a program called the Youth Crew, which targets youth ages 10-16 to participate in the walk and raise money for the Avon Foundation.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Journalism in Strategic Communication from University of Missouri – Columbia.  In 2014, she was selected to participate in a yearlong Course in Exponential Fundraising for non-profit leaders through Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Previous experience includes working with donor relations and marketing for Hinsdale Hospital and the American Red Cross of Chicago.  She is on the board of directors of Girls on the Run of Washington DC and a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in Alexandria, VA. Melissa has appeared on MSNBC, written articles for Huffington Post and Harvard International Review and been quoted in many national press outlets.