Melissa Fisher, a cultural anthropologist, is a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge and a Distinguished Principal Research Fellow at the Conference Board. She is also an Adjunct Professor in International and Public Affairs at Columbia University’s SIPA where she teaches in the Gender and Public Policy Program. In addition, she regularly works as a consultant, applying anthropological and cultural approaches to business research and workplace strategy.
Melissa’s expertise lies in organizational studies, with a focus on globalization, gender, finance, and work. Her first book, a co-edited volume, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke University Press, 2006) explored how cultural practices and social relations were altered by radical economic and technological innovations during the turn of the new millennium. Wall Street Women (Duke University Press, 2012) her second book, examines the first generation of women in finance (1956-2010). She is working on a book about the future of work in the age of pandemics and social movements like Me Too and Black lives Matter.
Melissa has given hundreds of key notes and talks nationally and internationally. Her Wall Street women book received over 25 reviews in academic journals. In addition, her research has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNBC, NPR, and the BBC. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Bloomberg and Bill Moyer’s Group Think. She appeared in the 2014 PBS documentary Makers: Women in Business. She also played an advisory role in the first female financial thriller film, Equity, a 2016 Sony Classic Pictures release. And she presently serves on the Advisory Board of the forthcoming Women of Wall Street Documentary.
Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, Melissa was the Laurits Andersen Professor in Business and Organizational Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. She has also been a faculty member in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and the Department of Anthropology at Georgetown University. She presently serves on the Women Creating Change Leadership Council at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference; The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion at the Conference Board; and The International Editorial Board for Observing Organizations, Bristol Press. She is also a member of The Global Foresight Project based out of Stockholm University’s Department of Anthropology. In addition, in September 2020, Melissa was appointed the Co-Chair of the W20 Women’s Entrepreneurial Task Force on Covid-19. The W20 advises the G20 on gender issues.
Melissa earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology at Columbia University and her B.A. in English at Barnard College. When she is not working, she likes to take dance and yoga classes.