Melissa Hess, 1st Vice President

Melissa Hess is Deputy Director in the Crisis Management Training division at FSI and has worked in that office since 2005. As a civil servant, she served 15 months in Iraq—as Political Officer for the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team and then TDY as the Public Diplomacy Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah. Prior to this, she was a member of the FLO, where she coordinated the Strategic Networking Assistance Program—a global employment program for Foreign Service spouses.

A Foreign Service spouse for 22 years, she accompanied her husband on assignments to Nigeria, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, and Ukraine. Melissa and Patricia Linderman are co-authors of The Expert Expatriate: Your Guide to Successful Relocation Abroad and co-editors of Realities of Foreign Service Life, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. In 1998, she created Foreign Service Livelines, the first website for Foreign Service spouses, which was purchased by AAFSW in 1999. She holds a Master’s degree in Education and has taught English as a Second Language in Europe, Africa, and the U.S.