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Melinda Haggerty
Nov 1, 2021 | About Us

Melinda Haggerty

Melinda Haggerty has spent her career advocating for vulnerable children. Melinda is currently the Senior Vice President, General Counsel at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, where she oversees the Foundation’s legal affairs and provides child welfare legal expertise in developing the Foundation’s trainings and materials for legal audiences.

Prior to joining the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Melinda was the Director of Children’s Initiatives at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In her role, Melinda oversaw all policy and legislation related to the areas of human trafficking, child welfare, and juvenile justice. Under her leadership, Ohio passed two major pieces of human trafficking legislation and child welfare legislation that focused on expediting permanency for and obtaining normalcy for children in Ohio’s foster care system. Additionally, Melinda oversaw large grant awards to children’s organizations, including Ohio Court Appointed Special Advocates, Boys & Girls Clubs across the state, and Ohio Reach. 

Melinda gets her passion for children honestly. Her experience as a former foster youth, combined with her legal training, gives Melinda unique insight into the systems that impact vulnerable youth. Melinda has trained extensively throughout Ohio on children’s issues and was published in Ohio Lawyer’s Magazine. Melinda volunteers as a member of the Ohio Reach Coalition, an Ohio organization that to support former foster youth on their higher education journey. In addition, Melinda was honored to be named the Ohio Adoption Planning Group’s 2012 Adoption Advocate of the Year. 

Melinda received her undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University and earned her juris doctorate from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.