Rohit Malhotra, Executive Director and Founder

Rohit Malhotra is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta, his hometown city. His background is in social entrepreneurship, digital communications, open data and community organizing. Most recently, he served as an Ash Innovation Fellow in the White House Office of Management and Budget, focused on the administration’s efforts around social impact bonds and pay for performance. In 2015, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he is the youngest serving member in recent history. Rohit was named as one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 30 Under 30 and in June 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Echoing Green Global Fellowship. Rohit earned his B.A. from Emory University and Master in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Rohit is a self-appointed expert on pizza and hip hop.

Melonie Tharpe, Programs Director

A native of Atlanta, Melonie brings experience from a number of local and international nonprofits, including EARTH University and most recently Sustainable Atlanta. She spent several years as a consultant for small nonprofits and social enterprises, helping to develop program strategies on topics such as sustainable agriculture, job creation, and education. Projects span the globe including Costa Rica, Ethiopia and South Africa, giving her an international frame in supporting locally-based work. She has volunteered with community-driven organizations such as Community Farmers Markets, Georgia Organics, Code for Atlanta, and Wonderroot Arts Center and also served with global social enterprise groups such as SOCAP and Atlanta+Acumen. Melonie earned her B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from Georgia State University and a Master in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from George Mason University.

Dayle Bennett, People, Happiness + Experience Director

Dayle Bennett drives the look and feel of the Center and is responsible for building the Center’s membership base. Dayle has over 25 years of experience in branding and design. Dayle’s creative mind shaped companies like Hallmark, where she drove the Product (RED) Campaign, West Elm, and Neiman Marcus. Dayle is a graduate of the prestigious Atlanta Portfolio Center and hails from Baltimore, Maryland.


Kyle Kessler, Community Program Manager

Kyle Kessler is a licensed architect and a leader in organizations that combine arts, culture and history with community development. He has been awarded the Jenny D. Thurston Memorial Award by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission and was the named the Best Grassroots Guardian of Old Atlanta by Creative Loafing. Kyle earned his Master of Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has also studied at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Ecole d'Architecture de Paris – La Villette, Glasgow School of Art, and the Charles E. Daniels Center for Building Research and Urban Design in Genoa Italy. 


Bem Joiner, Community Relations Manager and Creative Culture Curator

Bem Joiner has managed and consulted on numerous lifestyle and cultural immersion projects for a variety of clients such as Sprite, the Mississippi Department of Education, truth.com, the National Black Arts Festival, Nissan, Jack Daniels, Vitamin Water and many more. He also has experience in the music industry booking "early-adopter" shows for musicians such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and the Goodie Mob. He is one of the founders of Creative Call, an artistic collaboration and cultural exchange organization between Atlanta and Stockholm. Bem earned his B.A. at Jackson State University in Mass Communications.  




Howard Connell

Senior Manager, Accenture Strategy

Duriya Farooqui

Executive Director, Atlanta Committee for Progress

Eloisa Klementich 
President & CEO , Invest Atlanta

Brian McGowan

Principal, Dentons

Val Porter
Head of Domestic Strategy and Innovation, Foundation Center - Atlanta

Rohit Malhotra
Founder and Executive Director, Center for Civic Innovation

Peter Floyd

General Counsel, Center for Civic Innovation; Partner, Alston & Bird LLP