Melinda Kelley, Ph.D., is associate director for scientific strategy, innovation, and management at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She works closely with the NIA director, deputy director, and executive officer, and oversees the Office of Communications and Public Liaison; Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation; and the Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities (OLPIA). She previously served as NIA’s senior advisor and acting deputy director, and from 2014 to 2021, she was the OLPIA director. In that role, she provided strategic policy guidance to NIA’s leadership, led congressional and stakeholder organization communications. 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 NIA, Dr. Kelley managed a range of public health-focused programs at the NIH 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 NIH 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. She also completed her postdoctoral fellowship training at the University of Washington and Georgetown University, and is a graduate of the NIH Executive Leadership Program. She has received numerous NIH awards for her multiple contributions over the years.