Melody Barnes (Aspen Institute) and Paul Born (Tamarack Institute) participate in an interactive tele-learning session on August 8, 2014 in which they explore the theme of Collective Impact and why it's crucial that leaders embrace this framework right now.

Thought Leader Melody Barnes was previously appointed by and worked with President Barack Obama in the West Wing as the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council which was responsible for the formation and leadership of the White House Council for Community Solutions. The Council adopted Collective Impact as one of two key strategies to advance the communities agenda across America and Melody was so inspired by this work that she left the White House to form The Aspen Institute where she now serves as Chair of the Forum for Community Solutions which is, in part, responsible for advancing the work of collective impact globally. Melody knows more than anyone about the need for large scale change in our communities.

In this Tamarack Webinar, Melody and Paul Born (Tamarack Institute) explore the theme of Collective Impact and why it's crucial that leaders embrace this framework right now.

Melody Barnes is also a keynote speaker at the Tamarack Institute's upcoming Collective Impact Summit, happening October 6-10, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario. To learn more or register, please visit

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About Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes is Chair of The Aspen Institute - Forum for Community Solutions; CEO of Melody Barnes Solutions LLC, a domestic strategy firm; Vice Provost for Global Student Leadership Initiatives; and Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.  Ms. Barnes also serves as a Senior Director at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and is on the Board of Directors of the Marguerite Casey Foundation.  

From 2009 until 2012, Melody was Assistant to U.S. President Barack Obama and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.  In this role, she provided strategic advice to President Obama and worked closely with members of Cabinet to coordinate the domestic policy agenda across the Administration. Under her leadership, innovative new policies, practices, and partnerships were initiated to address significant national challenges in the areas of education, health care and the federal government’s relationship with local governments and communities.

Melody has also served as the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, a progressive research institute and think tank; she has worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee and served as his chief counsel from 1998 until 2003.  Barnes’ experience also includes an appointment as Director of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and serving as a Principal at the D.C.-based consulting firm, The Raben Group.

Melody began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City.  She received her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1989. In 1986, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she graduated with honors in history. Ms. Barnes’ media appearances include This Week with George Stephanopoulos, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Charlie Rose, Morning Joe and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Marland Buckner.


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