Melissa Thomas-Hunt

Senior Global Fellow, The Lauder Institute
John Forbes Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, 
Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Senior Advisor, Airbnb

Melissa Thomas-Hunt is the John Forbes Distinguished Professor of Business Administration at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

Dr. Thomas-Hunt was formerly the Head of Global Diversity and Belonging at Airbnb where she led the strategy and execution of Airbnb’s global internal diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging programs. She retains an external senior advisor role at Airbnb focused on advancing connection and belonging research.

An expert on building inclusive, global teams, Dr. Thomas-Hunt also served as Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University and as Global Chief Diversity Officer at the Darden School of Business, prior to her role at Airbnb.

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.

Dr. 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.