Michelle Melendez is the inaugural director of the City of Albuquerque Office of Equity and Inclusion. She is a Chicana, native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with more than 18 years of experience in community development, leadership development and advocacy to address the social determinants of health and their policy antecedents. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s in Communication, having been as a journalist for 13 years before moving into community health equity work.
Michelle brings a lifelong vision of racial equity to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and believes that her relationships with incredibly dedicated social justice, economic development and public health champions will lead the City of Albuquerque to embrace equity as a guiding principle in all areas of civic life.
“My goals are to make Albuquerque a safe, inclusive place for all people. Our health is tied to wealth and to where people live, work, learn, pray and play.”
Michelle worked as the Director of EleValle, a South Valley Healthy Communities Collaborative of the Rio Grande Community Development Corp; and as Development Director and Training Director at First Choice Community Healthcare. She also worked as Community Services Director of CHI St. Joseph’s Children, and for the New Mexico Department of Health after she left her journalism career in 2001.
Michelle received fellowships with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Ladders to Leadership and Connect Program) and served on the boards of Health Leadership High School, Future Focused Education, Bernalillo County Community Health Council, Con Alma Health Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee, as well as on the Board of Trustees of UNM Hospitals.
Presentations from Facing Race 2020
Learn about how to operationalize racial equity at the city and county level from leaders from three states. Hear the perspectives from the Chief Equity Officers from Asheville, NC; Fairfax, VA; and San Antonio, TX and learn about their successes, challenges, and opportunities for the future. Panelists will discuss their policy approaches, strategy for community development and how to make change in government institutions.Speakers: Ariana Flores, Michelle Melendez, Zan Gibbs, Majestic Lane