Excellence in Mentorship – Ms. Melissa Blakesly

Ms. Melissa Blakesly has a genuine love of mentoring and steps in when she sees a gap in mentorship.  In addition to mentoring 38 women, she has mentored 21 male participants.  Ms. Blakesly is very active in the Acquisition Shadow Program which involves numerous individuals from the acquisition FM community who visit the DC area for mentoring and shadowing.   For female mentees, she drives home the Forbes statistic:  “men apply for a job if they have 60% of the skills required, women apply only if they have 100% of the skills required.  Sharing this stat has been eye opening and encouraging for female mentees to have the courage to apply for opportunities.  Melissa leads by example serving as a role model to her peers and as an inspiration to those early in career development.  She has identified road blocks such as a policy issue that block excepted service (ES) employees from pursuing professional military education which is largely required in Air Force to be promoted.   She sought out and collaborated with the AF manpower policy and the AF Barrier Analysis Working Group to change the policy.   As a result of her leadership and determination, military spouses in excepted service positions have an improved glide path for career progression.

Melissa D. Blakesly serves as the Deputy Director, Air Force Congressional Budget and Appropriations Liaison, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, Pentagon Washington, D.C.  She is responsible for liaison service to the Budget and Appropriations Committees, particularly the Defense and Military Construction-VA Subcommittees of the House and U.S. Senate.  Ms. Blakesly began her career in private industry and entered federal civil service in 2008. Her career has been mainly focused on financial management and acquisition. Her most recent position was the Director of the Commander’s Action Group for the Auditor General of the Air Force (2016) through the AF Civilian Strategic Leadership Program. Prior to that, she held positions as the Workforce Development lead for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cost and Economics and in the Joint Strike Fighter Program office in Arlington, VA, She also worked on the F-22 Program as a financial manager and cost estimator and on the AF Lifecycle Management Center’s cost staff.

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