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Melissa C. Potter

Executive Director
Paramount

Melissa C. Potter is an award-winning media executive who has generated millions of dollars for social impact causes on behalf of corporations, non-profits, and brands across the globe. From radio intern to senior executive, she has spent the last 20 years committed
to the mission of leveraging TV, film, and music as platforms to shift the hearts and minds of mass market audiences.

Getting her start at the age of 14, Melissa is no stranger to fighting her way to the top. She is an established intrapreneur who has mastered the art of the pivot by staying ahead of the technology curve, building a powerful network, and creating space for culture. Her
experience intersects the entertainment, sports, and technology industries. Melissa is fluent on the issues of race, identity, culture, equity, and social justice. She is known for masterfully managing moments of crisis with her unflappable style. Her authenticity has
been recognized for bestowing her audiences with a sense of gravity that is largely absent across the media landscape.

As the current Executive Director, Content for Change at Paramount, Melissa supervises its portfolio of consumer brands including CBS, MTV, BET, and Showtime by overseeing their commitment to long-term social impact. She leads end-to-end development of campaigns and programs as the lodestar of research, strategy, and execution in producing cutting-edge programs like the MTV Entertainment Group Culture Orientation program in collaboration with the country’s leading racial and social justice organizations. Together they enhance shared values, increase understanding, and amplify awareness to empower the entire creative community to tell stories reflecting the diversity of Paramount viewers. Melissa has held two roles since she joined Paramount in 2020 including Vice President, Strategy and Impact and Vice President, Social Impact.

Prior to her time at Paramount, Melissa was the Head of Social Impact and Communications for Odyssey Impact and Transform Films where she used film, technology, and new media as a catalyst for social change. She was nominated for a 2018 NAACP Image award as an Impact Producer where she led conversations around social justice, gender-based violence, and other underrepresented experiences for the film “The Rape of
Recy Taylor”. With a track record of innovation, Melissa’s strategic approach has been tried and tested in high-profile roles including at The National Family Engagement Alliance, the NAACP Legal Defense Funds, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Her work has been
celebrated globally throughout the industry, including in 2018 when she was named Change Agent of the Year from the Digital Diversity Network.

Doubling down on her commitment to culture and community, Melissa sits on numerous boards including the National Job Corps Association where she serves as the first woman and the first African American Chair. She also is a board member at Fostering Change for Children, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of children & families and Beyond Sports, an international equity and impact organization that offers a new way of experiencing sports. She has been featured in The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Washington Post, and Essence Magazine as a thought leader and tastemaker. As bold as she is brilliant, she was tapped as a keynote speaker for Spotify, Social Innovation Summit, SXSW, ImpactROI and Classy.org.

A native New Yorker, Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Northeastern University, and Masters in Corporate Communication and Public Relations from New York University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of
America, Inc.

A trailblazer by day, and a mom 24/7, she will leave the world better than she found it. No one understands fast-moving pop culture and its potential ability to do good, better than Melissa C. Potter. Keep up with her impact agenda on Instagram @melissacpotter and LinkedIn @melissapotterpr.

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