News Release

Melissa Skolfield Named Vice President for Brookings Communications

May 19, 2005

Melissa Skolfield, a public affairs specialist with more than 15 years of service in Congress and the executive branch, is joining the Brookings Institution as vice president of Communications, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Skolfield will oversee the dissemination of work by Brookings scholars to policymakers and the media, managing the Institution’s briefings, public events, media relations and online communications initiatives.

“Melissa has an impressive range of skills and experience,” said Talbott. “She’s worked on a wide array of public-policy issues in both the legislative and executive branches of government as well as the private sector. She will help Brookings broaden its impact while maintaining its independence and the quality of its work.”

Skolfield, 46, worked as a press secretary on both sides of the Capitol before joining the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a deputy assistant secretary for public affairs in 1993. She was confirmed by the Senate as HHS assistant secretary for public Affairs in 1995, and served in that role until 2001. She was most recently communications counsel to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, where she set up a new communications outreach office and helped more than two hundred Members of Congress communicate policy proposals across diverse constituencies and media markets.

Skolfield also has significant experience in private sector communications, most recently as senior vice president at Golin/Harris International, where she directed the firm’s healthcare policy practice. She has an undergraduate degree in economics and behavioral science from Rice University and a master’s degree in public affairs from George Washington University.

“The Brookings Institution has an impeccable reputation for independent, high quality research, and I’m honored to join its management team,” Skolfield said. “I look forward to working with Brookings scholars to develop a comprehensive communications strategy, and increase the impact of the top-notch research they produce.”

Skolfield grew up in New Orleans and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband Frank Curtis, an architect.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.