Melissa Skolfield leads external affairs at The Pew Charitable Trusts. She oversees all aspects of Pew’s communications, government relations, and partnership activities in order to advance Pew’s policy, information, and institutional goals.
Skolfield previously served as vice president for communications at the Brookings Institution, where she managed the organization’s website, produced its annual report and other publications, and coordinated more than 200 public events every year.
Prior to joining Brookings, she was communications counsel to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, where she set up an outreach office and helped more than 200 members of Congress communicate policy proposals across diverse constituencies and media markets. Skolfield also worked as a press secretary for Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas and Congressman Mike Andrews of Texas before joining the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs in 1993. She was confirmed by the Senate as HHS assistant secretary for public affairs in 1995, serving in that role until 2001 when she joined the public relations firm of Golin/Harris International to launch a healthcare public affairs practice.
She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and behavioral science from Rice University and a master’s degree in public affairs from The George Washington University.