A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Melissa Jones most recently served as the Foreign Service Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Global Health (GH). Her public health career spans three decades, with expertise in infectious diseases, maternal and child health, nutrition, health systems, and education.
Over the past 20 years, Ms. Jones has served in senior leadership positions in Africa and Asia, overseeing a broad spectrum of health and education programs and leading large and diverse teams of development professionals in both bilateral and regional USAID missions. In Ethiopia, she led USAID’s engagement with then Health Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus to implement the largest expansion of HIV treatment at the primary health care level. Ms. Jones has likewise played significant roles in U.S. government interagency and multilateral coordination. In Bangladesh, she chaired one of the largest donor-financed health consortia in the world and advanced USAID’s objectives by joining forces with the World Bank and UNICEF to prevent maternal and child deaths. In Thailand, she led the consolidation of 12 USAID missions across Asia under one umbrella for the PEPFAR program.
In 2020, after 15 years overseas, Ms. Jones returned to the Global Health (GH) Bureau in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw country support, maternal and child health, and sexual and reproductive health programming. She also guided the GH nutrition program and served as Acting Chair for the Nutrition Leadership Council. She is a champion of the Bureau’s localization efforts; Foreign Service National empowerment; and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility efforts. In 2020, she chaired the selection committee for the Payne Fellowship Program, which brings diverse new talent into the Foreign Service and currently serves as an Executive Champion for the program.
Before joining USAID, Ms. Jones worked more than a decade in HIV disease prevention and control at the University of California Office of the President, and at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, where she served in the AIDS Office and in the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control.
Ms. Jones received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and a Masters of Public Health from San Francisco State University, with coursework at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.