Melissa Schwartz has over two decades of strategic and crisis communications experience in government, the private sector, and at nonprofit organizations. She has substantial expertise in media training, message development, and media relations. Melissa is the Chief Operating Officer at The Bromwich Group and Senior Advisor to Dr. Jill Biden. In addition to an active portfolio of non-crisis related advocacy-focused projects, she manages a crisis communications practice and serves as spokesperson for clients dealing with regulatory, congressional and media investigations.
Most recently, she has represented former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and helped manage rapid response for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony during Associate Chief Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Melissa was tapped by the Obama administration to manage crisis communications for the federal agency responsible for the regulation and oversight of offshore drilling in U.S. federal waters following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She is also a former senior spokesperson at the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Interior, and for U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski.
She has spent more than a decade working on issues of sexual and domestic violence. As a long-time consultant to the Joyful Heart Foundation created by actor, producer and advocate Mariska Hargitay, she has led advocacy-focused media strategy and public relations since 2012, including managing a multi-year public affairs campaign to end the nationwide rape kit backlog. She has worked as a communications strategist for the NO MORE coalition, most notably as a spokesperson for the national “NO MORE” PSA series on domestic violence and sexual assault. Her portfolio under former Attorney General Eric Holder included supporting the Office on Violence Against Women and the Office of Tribal Justice, as well as managing a yearlong effort to highlight the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She later developed a college campus tour for the Department of Justice to commemorate the 20th anniversary of VAWA.
Melissa is an Adjunct Professor who teaches for Johns Hopkins University’s Master of Arts in Communication program and the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership graduate program. She has previously provided instruction at the University of California, Washington Center. She has published chapters in PR News Guidebooks focused on PR Measurement, Crisis Management, Media Training, and Corporate Social Responsibility. She earned her M.A. in Political Communications from Johns Hopkins University and graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in American Studies and a minor in Dramatic Arts.