Colonel Michelle Melendez was the 2022-2023 senior US Marine Corps fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Prior to this role, Melendez served as commanding officer of I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Support Battalion.

As a Marine Corps logistician, Melendez has served in numerous Fleet Marine Force units, including command element, aviation, and combat service support units on the west coast and in Okinawa, Japan. She has commanded at the platoon, company, detachment, and battalion levels; served as a staff officer at the battalion, regimental, Marine Logistics Group, and MEF levels; and has completed numerous operational and combat deployments. Within the Marine Corps supporting establishment, Melendez has held positions in the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group and was director of Marine Corps staff at Headquarters Marine Corps. Her personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (third award) and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

Melendez is a native of Grapevine, Texas, and received her commission in 2000 upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy. She is a graduate of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School and Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and she holds a bachelor of science in English from the Naval Academy and an master of science in military studies from Marine Corps University. She is married to Colonel Marcos Melendez, and they have two daughters, Leila and Gabby.