Thomas Melia

Washington Director, PEN America and former Fellow, Human Freedom at the George W. Bush Institute

As a fellow with the Human Freedom Initiative, Thomas O. Melia is helping lead an effort to reaffirm core values of freedom, free markets, and liberal democracy. One of the goals of the Human Freedom Initiative is to foster a new bipartisan consensus that it is in the American interest to advance these principles at home and around the world.


Mr. Melia recently served in two senior positions in the Administration of President Barack Obama. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy and Labor from 2010 to 2015, he was responsible for the bureau’s work in Europe, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. From December 2015 to January 2017, he served as Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.


Mr. Melia has written for numerous publications, including the Washington Post, The New Republic, Journal of Democracy and The American Interest. He is co-editor of Today’s American: How Free? – a comprehensive assessment of the state of civil liberties and political democracy in the United States.


Earlier in his career, Mr. Melia was Deputy Executive Director of Freedom House; Vice President for Programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; and a legislative assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY). He has taught in the graduate programs at Georgetown University and The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


Mr. Melia lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his spouse, Amy S. Conroy, and their son, Tomás.

7 Results
Read the article Social Media: The New Weapon of Conflict.
Apr 6, 2018

Social Media: The New Weapon of Conflict

By: Thomas Melia
Bush Institute Human Freedom Fellow Thomas O. Melia interviews the German Marshall Fund of the United States' Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly about how foreign actors are attempting to use social media to undermine democracy here and abroad.
Read the article Why We Should Wish Europe a Happ(ier) 2018.
Dec 27, 2017

Why We Should Wish Europe a Happ(ier) 2018

By: Thomas Melia
The most important global issue to watch in 2018 may be whether the New Year brings resolution and harmony – or further fracturing of the world’s largest trading bloc and political community.