CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that Melissa Decker will lead West Virginia’s new office located in the Hall of States in Washington, D.C.
Decker will work to identify areas where the State of West Virginia can compete for more federal grant funding. She will also serve as Gov. Justice’s liaison with West Virginia’s Congressional Delegation and will serve as the primary point of contact between federal officials and the State of West Virginia.
“I am extremely excited to have Melissa join our team,” Gov. Justice said. “When you talk to her, you can tell right away that she truly cares about helping people. In this job as our D.C. Director, she will be able to use her wealth of knowledge and connections at the Capitol to help bring more goodness to all West Virginians.”
Decker brings over 30 years of public service experience to the position, having worked in various roles with state governments and the federal government.
Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Memorial Affairs within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Decker also previously worked in former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration as Deputy Director of California’s D.C. Office and as a Deputy Cabinet Secretary. She also served as a Legislative Analyst for the U.S. House Republican Conference under U.S. Rep. John Boehner.
Originally from Ashland, OH, Decker earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and Public Policy from Bethany College in Bethany, WV.
“I am honored to have been chosen by Governor Justice for this important role, which will allow me to make a difference in a place where I have deep roots,” Decker said. “West Virginia is part of who I am. It’s the state that allowed me to earn a degree and chase my dream of helping people through public service. For me to be able to continue my public service on behalf of the State of West Virginia, which is near and dear to my heart, is an incredible opportunity, and I will work hard everyday to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Decker also has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, an Executive Master’s Degree in International Relations, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Security Studies from Syracuse University.
She has worked in a number of legislative positions and other roles in the offices of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, U.S. Rep. Ed Schrock of Virginia, U.S. Rep. James Talent of Missouri, U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. She has also worked in various capacities within the U.S. National Guard Bureau, California National Guard, and the Ohio House of Representatives’ Republican Caucus.
“Having someone like Melissa to fill this incredibly important role fighting for our state government in Washington is long overdue. This is the first time we’ve had someone in this position going back several administrations,” Gov. Justice said. “I’ve said many times, I know there are acorns out there for us to grab. We just need someone to find the acorns and plant them. Before you know it, they’ll grow into great, big trees. That’s exactly what Melissa is going to do for West Virginia and I couldn’t be happier to have her on board.”