Melissa Gomez

PACT Project Director, Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Ripon, CA

Melissa Gomez has contributed 20 years of service to the anti-trafficking movement. Her international and local leadership has been instrumental in establishing multi-disciplinary coalitions and in coordinating comprehensive care to survivors of both labor and sex trafficking in Europe and the Central Valley, California. As the Chair of the Central Valley Freedom Coalition and Program Manager of Fresno’s Central Valley Against Human Trafficking, she contracted with partnering agencies to provide services throughout six central valley counties.  Additionally, she acted as regional liaison to facilitate 24-7 trauma response in partnership with Polaris’ National Human Trafficking Hotline. Melissa is dedicated to the advancement and integration of diverse voices to pioneer systemic change and co-create pathways of empowerment.

In 2018 Melissa was selected to participate in the first cohort of the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, where she contributed to national guidance on survivor informed practices within federal grant programs. In 2020, Melissa was recognized with an Outstanding Service Award by the CDSS for her efforts to increase awareness and improve services to survivors of child labor trafficking.

Ms. Gomez is currently the acting Director of the Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking Project for the Child and Family Policy Institute of California. In partnership with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), she facilitates a statewide model of cross-coordination strengthening child welfare programs serving young people and families in California.

Melissa resides in the ancestral land of the Miwok and Yokuts, in the Central San Joaquin Valley (Ripon, CA).  She and her partner along with their two creative boys, enjoy culinary experiences, traveling to new places and on time off you’ll find her at the beach or hiking in the forest.