Kelly Downes is the chief equity officer and Title IX coordinator in the diversity, equity, and inclusion office at Berklee College of Music. She has been at Berklee since March 2018. She was 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 her strong interest in working on issues of 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, Downes attends a lot of soccer games, swim meets, and school concerts. She also loves to read, dabble in photography, listen to music, cook, attend concerts and theater, and travel. Her ultimate travel dreams are to go to Africa and Iceland.