Melissa Silverstein

Melissa Silverstein is the founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood, an initiative

and website that educates, advocates, and agitates for gender diversity and inclusion in

Hollywood and the global film industry. She is a speaker and consultant with extensive

expertise in the area of women and Hollywood. She is the Artistic Director and Co-

Founder of The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College which is a weekend of inspiring

films that tell the extraordinary stories of fierce and fearless female leaders. The 10th

annual festival will take place from February 27 – March 1, 2020.


In 2018, Melissa was named to Variety’s New York Power list and in 2016, she received

the Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award from the Ms. Foundation for Women. In

2015, she was selected to be a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, the major

film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State. In 2013, she published the first

book from Women and Hollywood, In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk Directing,

which is a compilation of over 40 interviews that have appeared on the site.


Melissa has written for numerous publications including: The Washington Post, NY

Times, The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg and her work has been featured on CNN, the

BBC as well as in Newsweek, Salon, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, NY Times, and

many other publications. She was a contributor to The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of

Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thriller of Our Time.


Previous experience includes work on high profile public education campaigns such as

Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and she was the founding project director for The

White House Project. Prior to that was the Chief of Staff at the Ms. Foundation for


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