Varvara Melnikova holds several managing positions in one of the leading Russian urban and media companies. Firstly, Varvara is a CEO of the Strelka Institute for media, architecture and design – the world's first non-profit educational institution of postgraduate education in the field of urban studies. Secondly, Varvara is one of the founding partners of KB Strelka – Moscow consulting bureau carrying out consulting in the fields of architecture, urban planning, cultural and spatial programming. Thirdly, she is a CEO of the Afisha Publishing House, a part of Rambler&Co – which is mainly represents one of the most popular online guides for modern culture and entertainment in Russia.
Finally, she is a member of the Commission on urban areas development in the Public Council under the Ministry of construction and housing utilities of the Russian Federation and a member of the Expert Board of the development in Fund of the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow.
- In 2009 together with Rem Koolhaas participated in establishing of the Strelka Institute.
- In 2011 participated in the development of the Gorky Park in Moscow.
- In 2012 and 2013, on the basis of the Strelka Institute organized a seminar "Improvement of everyday life" for heads of cities of Russia, initiated by the Presidential Administration.
- Since 2012 is a member of the program Committee of the Moscow Urban Forum.
- In 2013 was included in the list of the 25 most influential women in Russian culture according to The Calvert Journal.
- From 2014 to June 2015, was the head of the Commission on urban development at the Public Council under Russian Ministry of Construction.
- In 2014, formed a team of curators from Strelka Institute’s alumnies to work at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale over the concept formation for the exhibition "Fair Enough" of the Russian pavilion. “Fair Enough” was awarded with the special prize of the Venice Biennale.