Washington and Jefferson College (B.A., 1984)
University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D., 1987)
Melissa Hart is an Attorney and Strategic Communications Consultant, with the law firm of Keevican Weiss Bauerle & Hirsch LLC, in Pittsburgh, PA. She chairs its Government Affairs and Relations Practice Group. Her experience in the areas of politics and policy enables her to provide a wide range of insight, information and advocacy for clients of the firm. She has worked with corporate entities, individuals and non-profits to assist them in navigating an increasingly challenging business, government, public relations and legal landscape. Ms. Hart has provided direction to clients in times of significant challenges as a result of legislative and regulatory changes. She has also assisted clients with needed legislative amendments and worked with sitting members of legislative bodies to accomplish such changes. Practice Areas include Strategic Communications and Government Affairs, Entertainment Law, Estate Administration, Non-Profit Organizations, Real Estate and Banking and General Corporate work.
She served in the U.S. House of Representatives for three terms, from January 2001 until January 2007. Ms. Hart is the first and only Republican woman in history to represent Pennsylvania at the federal level. As a member of the U.S. House, she served on the high profile House Ways and Means Committee with oversight of taxes, trade, welfare programs, health issues and Social Security. She also served on the Financial Services, Judiciary, Science and Ethics Committees and served as a Deputy Whip. She sponsored tax-free college savings plans, educational programs for non-traditional students and supported reduction in taxes on investment. Her tenure was marked by the terror attacks of 9/11 during her first year in office. Much of the agenda was consumed thereafter by Homeland Security and Defense and Economic challenges.
Prior to her Congressional service she served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1991-2001. There, she chaired the Finance committee which had oversight of the State Department of Revenue, State Treasurer, PA Public Pension systems and the PA Lottery. While a member of the Senate, she also served on the Banking, Judiciary, Health & Welfare and Rules Committees, spearheading changes to nonprofit law, school reform, reducing taxation for families and businesses, and creating a better state climate for economic growth.
She has been actively engaged with the Pittsburgh business and legal and civic communities for two decades. Her volunteer service has included Higher Education boards at the University of Pittsburgh, Washington & Jefferson College, and the Community College of Allegheny County. She has also served on the boards of the Veterans Leadership Program, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; and continues her service as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Film Office.
She earned her undergraduate degree in Business and German at Washington and Jefferson College. She also studied law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where she earned her J.D. degree.