Our Staff

Melanie Houston

Managing Director of Water Policy & Chief of Organizational Planning


Melanie Houston is the Managing Director of Water Policy & Chief of Organizational Planning for the Ohio Environmental Council. In this role, she is responsible for leading, managing, and growing the organization’s water advocacy programs. Melanie  works alongside partners to achieve policies that advance clean, safe and affordable water for all Ohioans. She leads OEC’s federal advocacy work on water and supports our regional team in advancing local water policy goals. Melanie also leads the organization’s strategic planning and annual planning efforts across departments.  

Over the last decade, Melanie has led numerous climate and water campaigns for the OEC, including work to secure a landmark bill in 2016 to better protect Ohioans’ drinking water from lead contamination. Melanie has briefed congressional and state lawmakers, advised the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and testified in front of committees of the Ohio General Assembly. She has been quoted in numerous newspaper, radio and TV outlets including National PBS. 

Melanie graduated with honors from Denison University and earned a Master of Science degree from The Ohio State University. She is an active member of her community, serving her second term as a Grandview Heights city council member. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys getting out into nature with her husband and two children.