Kelly Downes is the chief equity officer and Title IX coordinator in the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Berklee, where she has served since March of 2018. Previously, she was the institutional equity investigator at Simmons College and a member of the Simmons bias response team, which strived to promote a positive and inclusive campus environment. She was also a practicing lawyer for several years, focusing primarily on investigations, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence.
She received her undergraduate degree in political science at Boston University and attended law school at American University's Washington College of Law, graduating with honors. While in law school, she developed a passion for working on issues involving sexual and relationship violence. In her current role, she leads the Berklee equity team in responding to alleged violations of its Equity Policy and Process, which prohibits and addresses sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and discrimination and/or harassment based on age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, mental illness, military/veteran status, national and ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, or any other characteristic protected by law. This includes supervising investigations; meeting with affected students, staff, and faculty; and ensuring that individuals receive appropriate support.
Outside Berklee, as a parent to three kids she attends a lot of soccer games and swim meets. She also loves to read, dabble in photography, listen to music, plant flowers, attend concerts and theater, and travel. Her ultimate travel dreams are to go to Africa and Iceland. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.