Melanie Martinez Santos, MPA

Melanie Martinez Santos

Lead Public Affairs Specialist
Office of Communications and Public Liaison

Melanie Martinez Santos is lead public affairs specialist in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at NIMHD. She manages communication activities to engage stakeholders in NIMHD programs and activities including the research and public health communities, federal partners and media.

Prior to joining NIMHD, Melanie led stakeholder engagement efforts for the NIH Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities with NIMHD and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and coordinated numerous events, such as the “Ad Council’s Conversation between Legends” and “We Can Do This Live”, with national minority organizations, faith-based and community groups to address misinformation, mistrust, and help strengthen COVID-19 vaccine confidence.

Melanie has more than 15 years of federal experience focused on stakeholder engagement and public outreach. She has held positions as the External Relations Branch Chief in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), overseeing communication on initiatives such as Cancer Moonshot, and senior director of the external relations division at the FDA Center for Tobacco Products coordinating public education campaign launch events, “The Real Cost” and “This Free Life.” She has also worked as a Public Liaison Officer with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and served as a Presidential Management Fellow detailing with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

Prior to her federal work experience, Melanie directed a nonprofit organization working towards improved public policy in the Texas and Mexico border region.  

Melanie has a master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degree in journalism from New Mexico State University.

Page updated April 7, 2022