Melissa works closely with clients on developing public policy strategies and leverages her relationships with federal, state, and local officials. She is passionate about the connections between quality education, skills development, and economic success.
Before Taft, Melissa gained experience as the manager of government affairs for a global aviation company, where she led state and local government affairs in Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, and New York. In that role, she helped fund (and direct) job training programs with local schools and businesses to help students learn the skills needed to become aviation maintenance technicians. Melissa also worked closely with congressional members on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which authorized $5 million annually for a five-year workforce development grant program.
Melissa also previously worked for U.S. Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin, for whom she researched policy information and action steps for advocacy groups throughout Illinois. She met with constituents, national advocacy groups, and lobbyists regarding legislative issues and priorities. In addition, Melissa developed tactical planning efforts to coordinate and implement appropriations policy and procedures for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. She also served as the assistant press secretary for U.S. House Representative Peter “Pete” Visclosky.