Kellie Bentz

Affiliate Faculty School/organization Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Kellie joined Airbnb in May of 2015 to lead their Global Disaster Response and Relief efforts. In this role, Kellie works across the enterprise to respond to crises and disasters that impact the Airbnb community that includes over 6 million hosts in 191 cities globally. Since starting with Airbnb, Kellie has led responses ranging from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe and the Middle East.

Kellie is an Affiliate Faculty member at Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative teaching meta-leadership for leaders managing through crises. The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) is a joint venture of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

Prior to Airbnb, Kellie managed Target’s Global Crisis program where she led the development of Target’s crisis response plan, Target’s emergency management partnerships and the company’s enterprise wide crisis management team. Kellie has served in voluntary leadership roles with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Louisiana VOAD, and as an Advisor for Operation Dragon Fire, a CDC funded initiative, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, Bayou District Foundation and currently an Advisor for Urban University.

Prior to her role with Target, Kellie was the Senior Director of Disaster Services for Points of Light, the largest volunteer network in the world. In this role, Kellie led the enterprise wide preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Specific relief efforts where Kellie has deployed or directly supported include 2005 Hurricane Katrina, 2007 Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the BP oil spill, the 2011 Japan Tsunami and Earthquake, 2011 Hurricane Irene, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, the 2013 Moore Oklahoma Tornadoes, and the 2014 US Ebola response.

Kellie started her career in the disaster space with HandsOn Network in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina. Kellie served as the Executive Director of HandsOn New Orleans which started as a response project housing 100 volunteers a night and ultimately became the local affiliate of HandsOn Network.

Kellie is a graduate of the College of Charleston and received the Alumnae of the Year award in 2011 for her contributions to the disaster philanthropy space. Her most recent academic achievement includes attending and receiving a certificate from the Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative in 2012. Kellie is currently in the process of becoming a CEM (Certified Emergency Manager).