Dr. Melinda Kelley has served as the Director of the Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) since 2014. In addition to providing policy guidance to and managing special projects for NIA’s leadership, she serves as the NIA legislative liaison for Congressional members and staff interested in Alzheimer’s disease and other aging-related public health policy issues. Dr. Kelley is also responsible for cultivating and optimizing NIA’s relationships with both national and international non-governmental organizations that have an interest in the NIA mission. Lastly, she is the primary staff 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 moving to the NIA, Dr. Kelley managed a range of public health-focused programs at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Her contributions to We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition)®—a national education program designed to disseminate NIH-funded science on the prevention of childhood obesity to diverse communities, health professionals, and families nationwide—led to significantly expanded outreach, the development of new resources and community training opportunities, and multiple high-profile partnerships. 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 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.