Doug Melville 5th Generation Innovator, Leader and Change Agent | Global Diversity & Business Leader

About the Author

Doug Melville is the former Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) for an international luxury holding company. There, Melville sat on the Governance and Sustainability Committee and was responsible for drafting the DEI vision, measuring and embedding metrics, and strategizing around DEI as a business solutions.

Melville’s journey as a Diversity Officer began in 2012 at TBWA (Omnicom), a global advertising agency, advising iconic brands such as Apple, AirBnB, PepsiCo, Amazon, and more. Melville led their Supplier Diversity program and created a search engine to aggregate US women and diverse-owned (MWBE) creative businesses. Prior to advertising, Melville sat on the executive team of Magic Johnson Enterprises to create top line revenue by building out his brand, holdings and partnerships. He also served as an advisor for Tommy Hilfiger’s capital management firm, T Capital Management.

In his most recent endeavor Melville set out to rediscover his family’s story—one of sacrifice and perseverance. In his book, Invisible Generals, he tells the amazing true story of America’s first Black generals, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. and Jr., a father and son who helped integrate the American military and created the Tuskegee Airmen, working with eight different US Presidential administrations, from FDR to Jimmy Carter, along the way.

Melville examines how to draw strength from uncovering and reclaiming history by utilizing your ancestors’ victories to broaden your vision of what’s possible today; becoming a voice for the voiceless; harnessing the power of perseverance to understand and overcome generational challenges; and building on and growing your family legacy.

In his personal time Melville works across the public sector – from West Point to the Air Force Academy – to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of his family and diverse trailblazers.

Born in Connecticut, Melville has traveled to 75 different countries to better understand cultural differences and business through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. He is an alum of Syracuse University.

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Suggested Topics

  • Invisible Generals

Melville will introduce his book, Invisible Generals, and answer questions such as “Who were America’s 1st black generals?,” “How did the Tuskegee Airmen come about?” and “Why are the Red Tails red?”

  • Common Sense Diversity (DEI)

Melville will discuss how to evolve your DEI programs in a way that works for (almost) everyone. 

  • 7 Tips of Reputation Management 

Melville will touch on each role he has held throughout his career and share a key lesson he learned about personal reputations that can be utilized by everyone.

  •  4 Things that Keep Me Up at Night

Being a DEI leader for a decade, Melville has four things that keep him up at night. 

  •  Global Diversity: Whats DEI outside the US?

Melville will discuss how America has set the tone on this subject and highlight how other regions and countries define DEI.

  • Conservative Diversity: Evolution > Revolution

Melville will discuss what to do when the sea change is coming, but your leaders aren’t comfortable. 

  • Diverse Businesses: Inspiration vs Validation 

While diversification of your supply chain is important, is it realistic? 

  • The Trillion Dollar Blind Spot 

Are you leaning into Americas largest Domestic Emerging market?

Raves and Reviews

Melville traces his family’s history to ensure their groundbreaking achievements are not forgotten.”

—Arlington Magazine

Documenting unsparingly the opposition they had to overcome due solely to the color of their skin, Melville recounts [his family’s] stories with deep emotion, sympathetic with their struggles and angry with the system that made these humans invisible.”

In the rich tapestry of American history, the inspiring saga of the country’s first two Black generals remains a lesser-known gem, hidden in the shadows of time. These trailblazers, courageous leaders, and unyielding advocates rose above adversity with the unwavering spirit of justice burning in their hearts. Their story serves as an enduring beacon of hope, a reminder that the path to equality and justice is not without challenges, but it is one worth traversing.”
—Ben Crump, Black America’s Attorney General

The book Black America needs in this moment. This American story is rooted in family, loyalty, heart, and excellence. Doug’s family is representative of our own families . . . rooted in the consistent legacies of connection, disruption, and love in ways we can all be proud of.”
—Eboni K. Williams, journalist, attorney, and author of Pretty Powerful

For centuries, Black people’s contributions to American history have been overlooked—including their contributions to US military prowess. As Black Americans, our stories have power. And it’s long past time to reclaim that power.”
—Charlamagne Tha God, New York Times bestselling author of Black Privilege


Invisible Generals is not Black history, nor military history, but American history. The military’s first two Black generals paved the way for so many not just in our military but for all Americans—yet they have been invisible for so long. This book will educate and inspire Americans to honor these heroes for their selfless contributions toward moving our nation forward.”

—BRIGADIER GENERAL (RET.) LEON JOHNSON, former national president of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

A thoughtful, highly readable blend of family and military history.”
Kirkus Reviews

In the Media

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“AI May Be The Spark Needed To Evolve DEI As It Comes Under Fire”

March 26, 2024

“Are You A First, Only Or Different? Use These 5 Timeless Lessons Of An American Hero To Master Your Success”

July 7, 2021

“How a father and son fought segregation and became the first Black generals in the US military”

February 25, 2024

“A New Book Explores the History of a Groundbreaking Military Family”

November 29, 2023

“Invisible Generals: the Black military pioneers hidden in US history”

November 26, 2023

“The Pioneering Black Generals Who Struggled Against Invisibility”

November 10, 2023


“Empowered Aviation Pioneers leave legacy for modern Airmen”

January 6, 2023

“How companies can make DEI more than just a buzzword and actually alter their company cultures for the better, according to executives”

December 15, 2020

“BI Spotlight: Leaders from Bank of America, Cigna, TBWA, and Deloitte, talk about how companies can help employees develop resilience in the face of unprecedented stress and challenges”

June 24, 2020

“‘Imagine if Batman was your granddad’: Unsung heroes the Tuskegee Airmen get the Lucasfilm treatment”

October 27, 2020

AdExchanger Homepage

“How To Extend Diversity Initiatives To The Marketing Supply Chain”

July 31, 2020

“If Washington picks Red Tails, Tuskegee Airmen nonprofit wants to make sure it’s done right”

July 17, 2020

“Brands beware: Lessons from the downfall of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben”

June 24, 2020

CNBC – Logos Download

“The right way for companies to weigh in on racism, according to experts”

June 2, 2020

“My Mantra: Richemont D&I Head Doug Melville on Doing Better”

December 22, 2020

“Recognizing 2019’s Power Players in Media, Technology and Marketing”

January 6, 2020




Books by Doug Melville

Invisible Generals

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