Melissa Richmond is Vice President of Running Start, a Washington, DC based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that trains young women to run for political office. Melissa oversees Running Start’s five programs that train more than 2,500 young women from around the United States to run for office each year. In addition, Melissa regularly speaks to outside and international groups about the importance of getting more women into elected office. Melissa has conducted trainings in more than a dozen states and in Jamaica, Mexico, and Sierra Leone at the invitation of the UNDP and the State Department.

Prior to joining Running Start, Melissa worked for Governor Mitt Romney over the course of ten years, in the statehouse when he was Governor of Massachusetts, on both of his Political Action Committees, on his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, most notably as Director of Donor Relations, and on the SuperPAC that supported his second presidential run. Melissa graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in political science, the George Washington University Law School, and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. She was recently elected to serve as an Alternate Delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention and serves on several boards. Melissa lives in Arlington, Virginia with her rescued dog, Lady.