Welcome Melissa Carden, RICAGV’s New Executive Director

The RICAGV Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the hiring of Melissa Carden as our new Executive Director. A Pawtucket native and graduate of Villanova University, Melissa is a highly skilled communications strategist with extensive expertise in policy, communications, and relationship building. She served as the Co-Legislative Lead for Moms Demand Action Rhode Island and the Legislative Lead and Communications Lead for Moms Demand Action Pennsylvania. Prior to becoming RICAGV’s Executive Director, she was the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the State of Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. She currently sits on the boards of the Roger Williams Park Conservancy and the Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association.

RICAGV Board Chair Sydney Montstream-Quas states, “We are very excited to welcome Melissa aboard as our Executive Director. She brings much expertise in legislative affairs, partnership development, and public policy, as well as a passion for decreasing gun violence. Melissa is a driven advocate who has been a leader in the gun violence prevention movement for many years. We are fortunate to welcome her into this critical role as we continue to help make our communities and families safer from gun violence.”

“As a native Rhode Islander and longtime gun violence prevention advocate, I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence. Our loved ones deserve to live free from gun violence and we must do all we can to end this preventable public health epidemic. I’m looking forward to bringing stakeholders together to pass legislation, to educate the public, to center survivors and to focus on those communities disproportionately affected by gun violence, while strengthening and growing our grassroots movement,” said Carden.

RICAGV advocates and supporters may recognize Melissa, who has testified at Judiciary Committee hearings, and has had an active presence at gun violence prevention rallies, lobby days, and press conferences. Please join us in welcoming Melissa who will start her position with RICAGV on September 7!

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