Melissa A. King, PhD, MPA


Melissa is a health policy analyst whose research and writing has explored means of promoting civic engagement in public health. Melissa completed her undergraduate training in science journalism at Boston University. During this time, she studied ecology at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador and worked as a freelance writer for a half-dozen newspaper publications. Over the next five years, she pursued a career in health communication, serving as marketing manager at Lahey Health in Boston, Mass.

Motivated by the need for better options for the poor in health care, Melissa went to Austin, Texas, to complete her MPA at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. There, she was introduced to the concept of deep democracy and applied it through her work with the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition and international non-profit Partners In Health. Her thesis explored the link between civic engagement and HIV/AIDS program efficiency. 

After returning to the east coast, Melissa served as a health policy analyst for Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, where she supported a statewide initiative to promote best practices in child mental health. Fascinated by how the organizations in which providers work influenced their success in taking on new practices, she completed a PhD in social & behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins. Her research demonstrated how office environments and staff engagement are pivotal to the uptake of new practices and to health outcomes. 

Melissa is currently living in Los Angeles, Calif., where she is Manager of Behavioral Health Analytics and Community Engagement at Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. She spends her free time writing, hiking, surfing, and volunteering at her neighborhood yoga studio, Kinship.