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Melissa Boteach

Vice President, Half in Ten and Poverty and Prosperity Program

Expertise: Poverty

Melissa Boteach is the Vice President of Half in Ten and the Poverty and Prosperity Program at American Progress. In this capacity she oversees American Progress’s poverty policy development and analysis, as well as “Half in Ten: The Campaign to Cut Poverty in Half in Ten Years.”

Melissa served as the policy lead on The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, a book and multimedia platform by Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress about the one in three women living in or on the brink of poverty, and the public, private, and personal solutions to help the nation push back. Under her tenure, Half in Ten has launched its annual report tracking progress to cut poverty in half in 10 years and the Our American Story project, a network of people working to expand economic opportunity through the power of their personal stories.

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 designed, spearheaded, and implemented JCPA’s national anti-poverty 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.

Melissa has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN; has been a guest on several radio shows; and is frequently cited in English and Spanish print and online media. She was named as one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 for law and policy in 2011.