Contact Info
Jesse Melgar
Senior Advisor for Strategy & Public Affairs

Jesse Melgar is Senior Advisor for Strategy & Public Affairs at the University of California Possibility Lab, after serving as Senior Advisor & Director of Engagement for California 100 at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. Prior to this role, Jesse worked in state government for nearly a decade, most recently serving as Communications Director and Press Secretary for California Governor Gavin Newsom during the unprecedented crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. He previously led communications for United States Senator Alex Padilla during his first term as California Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara during his tenure as a state senator, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and Equality California.

Jesse is a vice chair of the Inland Empire Community Foundation where he is the founder and chair of the Cultivating Inland Empire Latino Opportunity Fund, also known as the CIELO Fund. The CIELO Fund has raised nearly $2 million to support grants, research, scholarships and narrative change campaigns for Latinos in the Inland Empire.

He is currently an advisory board member for the UC Riverside School of Public Policy and Equality California. In 2021, Governor Newsom appointed Jesse to the California Volunteers Commission where he serves as vice chair and advocated for Inland Empire colleges and universities to receive millions in state funding for the new California Volunteers College Corps program. He previously served on the boards of the HONOR PAC Political Action Committee and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.

He earned his bachelor’s degree with dual majors in Political Science and Chicano Studies from the UCLA, and his Master of Public Policy from the UCR as a member of the inaugural cohort and recipient of a full-tuition merit scholarship. In 2023, he was recognized as an inaugural Bruin Excellence in Civic Engagement honoree from UCLA, and in 2024 received the Young Alumni of the Year Award from UCR.