Melinda is senior director of policy for the WWF US Markets and Food team. She identifies issues, trends and opportunities that affect sustainability within the food sector and sets short and long-term policy goals, communicates policy objectives, and develops partnerships with both individuals and institutions to achieve WWF's conservation objectives.
Before joining WWF, Dr. Cep served as the deputy chief of staff at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In that role, she managed the policy and regulatory work across the department's 17 agencies and served as liaison to the White House and other federal agencies. In prior roles at the Department, she advised the Secretary of Agriculture, coordinated Farm Bill implementation with an eye to how the legislative changes and programs would work in the field, and managed the Department’s work for the White House's Pollinator Health Task Force. She also coordinated policy work on research, natural resource, rural development and public health issues.
Before joining USDA, Melinda worked for a Member of Congress as a policy advisor on health and agriculture issues. A veterinarian by training, Melinda started working for Congress after being selected for the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science legislative fellowship.
WWF Statement on Announcement of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018