Director & Group Lead, Advocacy and Communications
Melissa is responsible for advocacy across VillageReach programs in order to advance the organization’s mission of ensuring access to quality healthcare for underserved communities. She has more than twenty years of experience building partnerships and developing strategies to influence stakeholders and motivate action. Most recently, Melissa worked as a Senior Program Officer in global policy and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to working on issues including nutrition and MNCH, for many years she led advocacy for polio eradication, working with partners at global, national and local levels to ensure funding and political will for ending the disease.
Prior to VillageReach, Melissa served in government relations, marketing, and communications for organizations including Amgen and Microsoft. She serves on the board of One By One, an organization fighting obstetric fistula, and is actively involved in Wheelchairs for Nigeria, Eastlake Community Church, and her daughters’ schools. She holds an M.A. in applied international studies from University of Washington as well as a B.A. in business administration.