Melissa F. Burnison was confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in February 2018. She spent more than 15 years working in policy positions that involved the DOE in some capacity. Ms. Burnison will lead the DOE’s coordination with Congress, State, Tribal, City and County Governments, other Federal agencies, stakeholders and the general public.
Melissa F. Burnison previously served as the Director of Federal Programs for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) where she planned, directed and executed legislative strategies for nuclear energy programs and policies on behalf of the nuclear energy industry. Before her time in the private energy sector, she served as a senior advisor at the DOE, and also with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources where she advanced legislative policies to expand American energy production and jobs. During her tenure in the U.S. House, Ms. Burnison was the legislative director in the Office of Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN) with a special focus on the DOE’s nuclear and science programs and National Nuclear Security Administration defense programs. As a native of Louisville, Kentucky, she began her career on Capitol Hill with Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Ms. Burnison graduated from Cameron University with a B.A. in political science. She resides in McLean, VA, and is married to Scott Burnison and has three daughters; Catherine, Gudrun, and Elizabeth.