Jen De Melo

Senior Strategist of Organization Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at KABOOM!

Jen De Melo, the Senior Strategist of Organization Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at KABOOM!, has committed her career to ensuring that every kid has equitable access to high-quality and safe play opportunities. In her current role, Jen works to provide responsive and innovative program solutions that meet the varying needs of kids and communities. Her expansive knowledge of play solutions and their benefits stems from leading hundreds of play infrastructure projects across North America, managing programs totaling over 20 million in grant dollars, and creating new cutting-edge programs during her tenure at KABOOM!.

Jen builds and manages strategic partnerships that support advancement of the mission to end playspace inequity. Jen supports teams which fuel the volunteer-driven planning and construction of community playgrounds; multi-sport courts and ninja warrior-inspired adventure courses; innovative pop-up play products that inspire STEAM learning; and transformation of urban public spaces into accessible playspaces through the KABOOM! Play Everywhere initiative. She leads the organization’s efforts to integrate these innovative and inclusive playspace designs into public infrastructure across the country, with a laser focus on equity and asset-based community engagement.

Prior to joining KABOOM!, Jen worked at the Boys and Girls Club in her hometown of Redwood City, CA. Jen holds a degree in Cultural Anthropology and Portuguese from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Rethinking Play for Diverse Voices and Needs

Monday, June 20
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Play to Learn: Local Perspectives on Embedding Playful Learning in the Everyday Spaces

Tuesday, June 21
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM