WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK 2017
Since April 2013, Melissa DeRosa has served as Communications Director, Strategic Advisor, and most recently Chief of Staff to the Governor. During her tenure, Ms. DeRosa has managed overall communications and press for the Executive Chamber and more than 50 state agencies, political affairs, labor relations, and the administration’s strategic approach to enacting policy.
She spearheaded the Governor’s campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, enact the nation’s strongest paid family leave program, and most recently to establish the Excelsior Scholarship, making New York the first state in the country to provide free public college tuition for middle- and low-income families.
Before joining the Governor’s office, Ms. DeRosa worked in the Attorney General’s Office as Deputy Chief of Staff and as Acting Chief of Staff. Ms. DeRosa led the office’s effort to negotiate and pass the country’s most aggressive prescription drug reform package, I-STOP (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act). Prior to working for the Attorney General, Ms. DeRosa served as New York State Director of Organizing for America (OFA), President Obama’s national political action organization. Before joining OFA, Ms. DeRosa served as the Director of Communications and Legislation for Cordo and Company, an Albany-based government affairs firm. She was also the Campaign Manager for Tracey Brooks for Congress, Deputy Press Secretary to Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Deputy Press Secretary for the successful New York State Transportation Bond Act Campaign in 2005.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, both from Cornell University. She has served on the executive board of the Women’s Leadership Forum Network of the Democratic National Committee.
Ms. DeRosa is the first woman to ever serve in the role of Secretary to the Governor.