Melanie Knight

Melanie Knight joined USC Upstate in October 2021 to serve as special assistant to the chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and director of special projects, and Title IX coordinator.

Knight is a senior consultant with Letterman White Consulting, where she provides organization development support to a wide range of academic institutions, corporations, and government agencies. Her expertise includes process management skills that support organization effectiveness, such as organization analysis and diagnosis, change management, team development, creative problem solving, and executive coaching. Knight’s clients have included The American University, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the City Administration of Ottawa, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Children’s National Medical Center.

For more than 25 years, Knight served as a teacher and assistant principal in Maryland for Montgomery County Public Schools, one of the nation’s largest school districts. Early in her teaching career, she led the development of the NASA Biome website and developed curriculum for the National Security Agency.

Knight is an executive board member for the NAACP Parents’ Council of Montgomery County, Md., and a member of the Patient Family and Community and Engagement team for the Children’s National Medical Center.

She is a former member on the Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Advisory Group and Regulation Review Team. Knight served the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals/Montgomery County Business and Operations Administrators Board as the elementary cabinet secretary, a delegate, and professional learning community facilitator.

In the community, Knight’s work included facilitating conversations about race and equity for cluster parents in Montgomery County, Md., and developing training centered on culturally responsive instruction to build cultural competency and raise teacher expectations for student achievement.

Knight graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Bowie State University. She earned a Master of Science degree in Organization Development from the School of Public Affairs at The American University. At AU, Knight received the Hal Kellner Award for social justice in recognition of her commitment to creating a cohesive and inclusive community.