My List0

We've now made it easier for you to research and save your favorite keynotes speakers. Click on the + sign to add a speaker to your Speaker List and email your favorites to colleagues and friends.

using System.Text.RegularExpressions;
Melanie Ho, keynote speaker

Dr. Melanie Ho

    • Expert on using the arts and creative storytelling for bolder change in strategy, leadership, & DEI
    • Award-winning business author, “Beyond Leaning In”
    • Leadership and strategy advisor to hundreds of university presidents
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$5,000 - $10,000

Virtual Fee:

$7,500 and Under

Travels From

District of Columbia

Speaking Demo: Real Talk about What Women Face at Work (Melanie Ho)

Speaking Demo: Real Talk about What Women Face at Work (Melanie Ho)

Speaking Demo: The Power of Art and Visual Storytelling (Melanie Ho)

Speaking Demo: The Power of Art and Visual Storytelling (Melanie Ho)

Melanie Ho Speaker Biography

Melanie Ho is an award-winning author, speaker, and leadership consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 organizations, rising start-ups, leading universities, non-profits, and government groups. She blends 20 years of expertise in the leadership of complex organizations with her perspective as an artist and multi-media storyteller. Her unique workshops and interactive keynotes help audiences get to bolder transformations by starting with today’s most important leadership concepts – and then coming alive through the power of art and storytelling.

Melanie is especially passionate about inspiring reflection and action on gender and racial equity. Her debut book BEYOND LEANING IN: GENDER EQUITY AND WHAT ORGANIZATIONS ARE UP AGAINST received a silver medal in the 2022 Axiom Awards recognizing the world’s best business books, and has been acclaimed by Kirkus Reviews as “an engaging evolution of Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ mantra.” As a visual artist, Melanie has also drawn dozens of comics about DEI in the workplace and was described by Film Daily as “one of the most empowering authors and visual artists right now.”

Prior to becoming an independent speaker and consultant, Melanie served as SVP and GM of Research at EAB Global, an education technology and consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC (formerly part of The Advisory Board Company). As a founding member of the EAB leadership team, she helped grow an internal startup from 30 staff to over 1000 and acquisition by Vista Equity Partners for $1.55B. Melanie led a team of 100+ consultants that provided management advice to 1500+ universities worldwide, including 90% of the US News Top 100. She has personally advised hundreds of university presidents and other executive leaders on a wide range of strategic and leadership matters.

Melanie started her career teaching literature, visual culture, and leadership at UCLA, where she received the Distinguished Teaching Award and earned her Ph.D. in English. While at UCLA, she also chaired the board of directors of ASUCLA, the $75 million business that comprises restaurants, bookstores, trademarks and licensing, and other services at UCLA. Her doctoral dissertation, USEFUL FICTION, looked at the practical applications of novels in a changing world.

Is your team or audience looking to transform in bold new ways?
Melanie’s unique keynotes and workshops draw from research at the frontier of transformational change, from management science and organizational behavior to cognitive science and psychology. Her engaging sessions incorporate the latest thinking on how the imaginative arts (fiction, comics, theater, and more) can shift our perspectives and make concepts stick. Examples include:

• Future visioning—applying techniques from science fiction and world-building to design wholly new ways to support our teams, customers, constituents, or stakeholders
• Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)—using art as a way to lower our defenses on emotionally-charged topics; building empathy through the same tools used by fiction writers
• Leading change—learning how improv and theater can help us build cultures and strategies that better adapt to the twists and turns
Melanie designs talks and workshops on a variety of leadership, organizational, and DEI topics. Her signature sessions are below.

--------------- SIGNATURE SESSIONS ---------------

“Design Fiction” for Future Visioning
Did you know that Jeff Bezos was inspired to create the Kindle after reading Neal Stephenson’s science-fiction-classic The Diamond Age? A growing number of universities, businesses, and other organizations are finding that the tools of the imaginative arts — fiction, drawing, theater — can provide a powerful way to design new futures, shift mindsets, and align stakeholders around a common vision. In this unique interactive session, participants will use the tools of “design fiction” to create aspirational future visions for how to better meet the shifting needs of their audience (whether employees, customers, stakeholders, or constituents).

Renewing Our Commitment & Taking DEI to the Next Level
In candid moments, leaders confess that their organizations aren't making progress quickly enough on diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. It's hard to make time for meaningful DEI work when we're all facing new demands and grappling with systemic burnout. Plus, it can be challenging for “real talk” to occur when emotionally-charged topics give everyone reason to feel guarded. This innovative session draws from cross-industry research on how organizations achieve bolder transformation when progress is difficult despite our best intentions. Participants will learn hidden ways that organizations unintentionally self-sabotage their DEI efforts and leave with a plan for new actions they can take tomorrow to take DEI to the next level.

Leading through the Twists and Turns
Leading change has never been easy, but most of us have never experienced anything like this — trying to steer others through complex change and continued uncertainty while teams (and many leaders) are burnt out. The leadership mindsets and practices that got us here don’t *necessarily* feel wrong, but they don’t feel right either for a wholly new set of challenges. Many leaders today feel fatigued by a world that won’t stand still. How do we provide transparency about uncertainty without fueling anxiety? How do we ensure silos are aligned when there are so many moving parts? What new muscles do leaders need to build for greater organizational agility? We’ll answer these questions and more, providing participants with a toolkit for managing ambiguity and rallying stakeholders around complex change.

“Real Talk” about What Women Face at Work 
Much of the advice for professional women focuses on the need to lean in, but what about the barriers to doing so, or the unequal rewards (and even penalties) when women do lean in? All too often, the “real talk” about the challenges that professional women face happens behind closed doors. That makes it hard for women to make sense of their own experiences, and even harder for those across genders to partner together for gender equity. This session, which can include both women and allies, will discuss what’s needed from a systemic and cultural perspective to create more equitable environments that allow all professional women to thrive.

Related Speakers

Libby Gill, Marketing Speaker

Libby Gill

Founder & CEO of Libby Gill & Company Executive Coaching and Leadership Consulting

Sima Dahl, Social Media Speaker

Sima Dahl

Trainer. Coach. Emcee. Impresario. Author. Networker and Dot Connector.

Jim Mathis, Speaker

Jim Mathis

The Reinvention Strategist

David Kauffman keynote speaker

David Kauffman

President of "Empowering Small Business" an International Business Coaching firm

Dennis Gillan, speaker

Dennis Gillan

World Class Speaker & Mental Health Advocate

Gary Kunath, Employee Retention Speaker

Gary Kunath

Shows How to Positively Impact Your Employees Lives OUTSIDE of the Office

Todd Kashdan, Speaker

Todd Kashdan

Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being

Dr. Sheri Prentiss keynote speaker

Dr. Sheri Prentiss

Healthcare Consultant 

Larry Myler, Business Trends Speaker

Larry Myler

Business Development Entrepreneur

Pandit Dasa, Happiness speaker

Pandit Dasa

Mindful Leadership Expert and Motivational Speaker

Phil Gwoke, Generational Speaker

Phil Gwoke

Generational Consultant

Lex Gillette keynote speaker

Lex Gillette

Five-time Paralympic Medalist



Everyone on the ESB team has been great to work with for our events. Looking forward to keep working with ESB!

Plexus Worldwide

We had a positive experience with ESB. Matt Meyer is a great communicator and easy to get a hold of. His helped us through the process to mak..


ESB was patient, thorough, and responsive during the planning process. Thank you for making this such a great experience for us!


ESB supported our needs and the needs of our speaker throughout the entire process. I highly recommend working with ESB to find your next spe..


"It's always a pleasure to work with ESB. Very professional and personable staff. Thanks!"

Testimonial | Texas Society of Architects

"Excellent! Thank you for being a true partner to our organization and its development."

HCA Healthcare

"They are the only speakers bureau I will even consider using!"

Testimonial | Youth Villages

A wonderful bureau to work with! Big ups to everyone who helped make our event a success. Fingers crossed we get the chance to collaborate fo..

MDRT | Testimonial

"As always, you are the best most responsive speaker bureau I've ever worked with!"

Image Media

Angela Schelp was a great partner in finding the right kick-off speaker for our conference. This was my first conference identifying the keyn..

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call to discuss how we can you help find the right speaker(s) for your organization.

© 2024 Executive Speakers Bureau. All Rights Reserved.

Design and Developed by eBiz Solutions

Get Ideas in 1 hour or less

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in one hour or less.

Please fill in information below