Melissa Merz, a Senior Advisor to Peter Mirijanian Public Affairs, is a veteran communications professional who has worked at the national, state and local levels of government, including more than a dozen years on Capitol Hill and four years serving as the chief spokesperson for the Illinois Attorney General. She was also Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a principal at the bipartisan lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, and served as Vice President for Communications at a Washington-based think tank, NDN (formerly the New Democrat Network) where she managed all media outreach and press operations.
On Capitol Hill, Melissa worked in various capacities for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) for seven years. She served as his press secretary from 1995 to 1997 while he was a Congressman and, after Durbin was elected to the U.S. Senate, became the senator's communications director, a position she held until 2002. Melissa then joined the campaign of then-Illinois state Sen. Lisa Madigan to become Illinois Attorney General, serving as the campaign's communications director. After Madigan's victory, she continued to serve as her top spokesperson until 2006. Between 2006 and 2007, she served as communications director for U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Melissa has held additional positions on the staffs of three members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.