Melissa Brown has been busy educating Harvard University on the world of work for the last 20 years. As managing director, center for workplace development, she leads the university’s global contingent workforce program with more than 800 contingent workers on assignment. She partners closely with the program’s MSP provider and more than 50 affiliate suppliers to deliver talent through a variety of talent delivery models.
In 2017, Brown led a change effort with other key stakeholders aimed at centralizing contingent labor engagement across the university. Through a formal RFP process, Brown and her team identified a partner to help design and implement a first-generation vendor-neutral MSP program. Since its April 2018 launch, under Brown’s leadership, the Harvard MSP program has grown to more than $65 million from $12 million while saving more than $11 million by capturing rogue spend and rationalizing supplier markup rates. In addition, she has directed 70% of spend into diversity suppliers, exceeding her targets.
Brown has had a tireless commitment to driving innovation within the program. Since the program went live, there have been multiple service expansions, including direct hire and offshore IT statement of work. Meanwhile, she initiated a pilot IC vetting and compliance process that is under review. Today, Brown actively leads solution discussions for adding global payrolling and compliance, direct sourcing and RPO services to the suite of total talent services.
“The MSP’s success has truly been as a result of a dedicated team of colleagues,” Brown says. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished to date and am convinced there are additional benefits to be derived in the future.”