Melissa Melendez has represented California’s 67th Assembly District since 2012. After graduating high school, Melendez enlisted in the U.S. Navy where she was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey to study Russian. After becoming fluent in Russian, Melendez became one of the first women approved to fly aboard EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft overseas, conducting reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations.
She has served her country for ten years in the Navy, during the Cold War, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Melendez has her bachelor’s degree in history and political studies and a master’s degree in business administration. After leaving the Navy, Melendez started her own small business providing transcription services to high-level Pentagon officials. She lives in Lake Elsinore, California with her husband Nico, also a Navy veteran, and their five children.