As Head of Global Diversity and Belonging at Airbnb, Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt leads the strategy and execution of their global internal diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programs.
An expert on building inclusive, global teams, Thomas-Hunt joined Airbnb from Vanderbilt University, where she served as Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence. In that role, she was responsible for helping advance equity, diversity and inclusion in Vanderbilt’s academic research and community of students, faculty and staff. Prior to her work at Vanderbilt, Thomas-Hunt served as Global Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where she was focused on ensuring that the student community was seen, heard, valued and supported.
For 25 years, she has taught MBAs and executives leadership, team dynamics, and negotiations and conducted research on the factors that unleash, leverage and amplify the contributions made by individuals, particularly women, underrepresented individuals and numerical minorities. Her publications have appeared in Research on Organizational Behavior, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Management Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Research on Managing Groups and Teams.
Thomas-Hunt received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.