Melissa Fisher is a Senior Advisor focusing on Workplace Culture and Design Practices. She is a cultural anthropologist and has extensive experience studying and consulting on organizations, workplace culture, leadership, and the built environment. She has collaborated with clients in architecture, corporate real estate, entertainment and media, facility management, finance, higher education, consumer goods and services, as well as hospitality. Trained in anthropology, sociology, and organizational and management studies, she brings an interdisciplinary approach to her practice. She takes a human-centric and inclusive approach to designing workplaces and organizational culture, using ethnographic skills to understand and optimize how people navigate working in physical and digital environments. She is especially passionate about helping organizations to develop new kinds of leaders through an innovative approach to leadership thinking and learning.
Melissa has actively bridged business and academia throughout her career. She has published two books, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (2006) and Wall Street Women (2012). Currently, she is working on a book called “Anthropology, Ethnography, and the Global Reimagining of Work,” which explores how workplace experts shape future work environments in the context of pandemics, with a focus on equity and justice.
She has also authored numerous articles and practitioner reports on changes in work and the workplace.
Melissa has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches and scholarly talks at conferences, think tanks, and businesses worldwide. She has been featured in publications such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week, and has appeared on CNBC, NPR, and the BBC. Melissa serves on various boards, including The Women Creating Change Leadership Council at Columbia University’s Center for Social Difference.
She is affiliated with New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge, The Conference Board, and the Global Foresight Project based out of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies. Melissa has held full time academic positions at Georgetown University, New York University, and the University of Copenhagen. Currently, she teaches in the Human Capital Management Department at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. Prior to her current role at CFAR Melissa worked as a workplace and marketing strategist and consultant, including most recently at Batten and Company.