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Biden Foundation announces new hires for communications, foreign policy

September 5, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Biden Foundation announced several new additions to its staff. Brian McKeon, Advisor for Foreign Policy; Melanie Fonder Kaye, Communications Director; Jordan Montoya, Policy Associate for Shaping Foreign Policy; and Jacob Wellner, Special Assistant.

“I’m thrilled to welcome more talent to the Foundation team,” said Louisa Terrell, Executive Director of the Biden Foundation. “Melanie’s history with the work of Vice President and Dr. Biden makes her uniquely qualified to communicate our vision to the public. Brian and Jordan will be instrumental in expanding our work in foreign policy. And Jacob will be integral to ensuring the Biden Forum continues to spread bold new ideas. I look forward to seeing how this dynamic group of individuals supports the Foundation’s vision of equal dignity and opportunity for all people.”

Brian McKeon comes to the Biden Foundation with over 30 years of experience in all three branches of the federal government, including high-ranking national security positions in the White House, the Defense Department and the U.S. Senate. Previously he served as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy at the Defense Department, and concurrently as Acting Under Secretary for the final seven months of President Obama’s tenure. In the White House, Brian served as Deputy Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, and as Deputy National Security Adviser to Vice President Biden. In the Senate, Brian served for 12 years as chief counsel to the Democratic members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, and concurrently as Deputy Staff Director for two years. Prior to service on the Committee staff, McKeon served as a legislative assistant for foreign policy and defense to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Brian has written on national security issues for various publications, testified before the Congress on several occasions, and appeared on MSNBC, Vice News, Fox News, Al Jazeera and Alhurra TV.

Melanie Fonder Kaye is a communications strategist with more than 20 years of experience in advocacy communications, media, and journalism. Before founding her communications firm MFK Strategies, she served as Director of Communications to Dr. Jill Biden. In the White House, Melanie developed and oversaw the communications strategy, which included Joining Forces, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden’s initiative to encourage all Americans to support service members, veterans, and military families; helping to raise the profile of community colleges as an innovative pathway to success; elevating the role of teachers; and raising awareness around women’s health, particularly breast cancer. Before that, Melanie was a vice president at GMMB, press secretary for former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, and was a reporter covering politics and government for The Hill, the Green Bay News-Chronicle, and WisPolitics.com.

Jordan Montoya is a Policy Associate at the Biden Foundation, working to support and further develop the foreign policy pillar as well as the higher education and military families pillars. Jordan graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in international relations and minor in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Following college, Jordan joined the 2008 Obama/Biden campaign and traveled domestically as part of the national advance team. From 2009 to 2012, Jordan worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) for Secretary Ken Salazar as advance staff, and later, as Deputy Press Secretary. Following her time at DOI, Jordan transitioned to the White House where she served for three years as Deputy Director of Advance for Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. Most recently, Jordan was an Associate Director at Save the Children, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to serving and protecting children in the U.S. and around the world.

Jacob Wellner serves as the Special Assistant for the Biden Foundation and as an assistant to the Chief Editor of the Biden Forum and works to support the Foundation’s Strengthening the Middle Class pillar. Jacob was previously a fellow at Atlantic Media’s Ballast Research, a strategy consulting firm that works directly with senior policymakers across sectors to inform advocacy and engagement in federal and state policy. Prior to his fellowship, Jacob was a White House intern with the National Economic Council, focusing on financial regulation, housing finance, and consumer protection. He also interned with the Hillary for America finance team in Brooklyn, at Promontory Financial Group in D.C., and in Senator Dick Durbin’s Capitol Hill office.

About the Biden Foundation:
The Biden Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation established to carry on Vice President and Dr. Biden’s lifelong commitment to public service. Through educational programming and public policy analysis, the Foundation works to build a world where all people are equal in dignity and opportunity.

For up-to-date information on the Biden Foundation, visit archive.bidenfoundation.org or follow the Biden Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.