Dr. Melinda Kelley serves as Acting Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Kelley brings more than twenty years of NIH experience to the position. Since 2014, she has served as NIA’s Director of the Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities. In that role, she provided strategic policy guidance to NIA’s leadership and managed a number of special projects for the institute, including two systematic evidence reviews. Dr. Kelley led NIA’s congressional communications and expanded the institute’s relationships with both national and international non-governmental organizations that have an interest in aging research and policy issues. She also served as the primary liaison to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services—which directs the implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Prior to joining the NIA, Dr. Kelley managed a range of public health-focused programs at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Her contributions to educational programs in nutrition, obesity prevention, and physical activity across the lifespan led to significantly expanded outreach to diverse audiences, the development of new resources and community training opportunities, and multiple partnerships with a range of national, regional, and local organizations. Previously, Dr. Kelley served as a senior science advisor at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, where she led strategic planning, evaluation, and congressional engagement on a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
Dr. Kelley has also directed the research and education program at the Paralyzed Veterans of America, where she managed a range of basic and applied research awards, as well as educational and training grants, relevant to individuals living with spinal cord injuries and/or diseases.
Dr. Kelley received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Virginia, and she completed postdoctoral fellowship training at the University of Washington and Georgetown University.