Melissa Boteach is Director of Half in Ten and the Poverty and Prosperity Program at American Progress. In this capacity she coordinates “Half in Ten: The Campaign to Cut Poverty in Half in Ten Years,” a project designed to build the political and public will to reduce poverty by creating good jobs, strengthening families, and promoting economic security.
Prior to joining American Progress, Melissa worked as a senior policy associate and the poverty campaign coordinator at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, or JCPA, where she represented the JCPA to Congress, the administration, and in coalition on issues related to poverty, the federal budget, hunger, housing, and health care. As poverty campaign coordinator, Melissa also designed, spearheaded, and implemented JCPA’s national antipoverty campaign, which has been launched in more than 50 U.S. cities.
A Harry S. Truman and George J. Mitchell Scholar, Melissa earned a master’s degree in public policy from The George Washington University with a concentration in budget and public finance as well as a master’s degree in equality studies from University College Dublin. She also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland with degrees in government and Spanish, and was the sole recipient of the university’s highest honor, the University Medal, for exceptional service, leadership, and scholarship.
Melissa has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN,The Thom Hartmann Show, and been a guest on several radio shows. She is frequently cited in print and online media and her work has been published in the The Washington Post, Newsweek, On Faith blog, TheRoot, the Jewish Daily Forward, Sh’ma Magazine, and several Spanish language media outlets. She was named as one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 for law and policy in 2011.