Melissa Vargas

Ms. Vargas leads Latino Engagement & Partnerships for the Environmental Defense Fund.  As a part of the Political Affairs team, Vargas works to create political will and bold policies with leading Latino advocacy organizations to fight climate change. Ms. Vargas served the Obama Administration as the Director of Public Engagement in the Office of Public Engagement at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  She began the administration as Deputy White House Liaison in the Office of the Administrator, where she supported the Office and the Agency’s Presidential appointees.  As Deputy White House Liaison, Vargas was selected to help develop, implement, and manage the Agency’s grassroots education and outreach initiative as a part of the EPA’s emergency response efforts to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.  Leading bilingual and bicultural community outreach efforts, Vargas was successful in building coalitions within Flint’s Latino and immigrant population.