Melody Barnes served as assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council from 2009 to January 2012. Prior to her work in the White House, Barnes served as senior domestic policy advisor to the Obama for America campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Barnes was executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, a progressive research institute and think tank. From 1998 until 2003, Barnes served as chief counsel to then senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barnes’ experience also includes an appointment as director of legislative affairs for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Barnes began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City.