Melissa McLaren

Melissa McLaren (she/her) is the Administrative Director of Graduate Nursing Programs at the Leavitt School of Health, Western Governors University. She graduated from Ohio State with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Minnesota. She has a Master’s degree in Management and a Master’s also in Leadership and Business Administration. Before moving to higher education, she worked as a nurse and nurse practitioner in neurosurgery and critical care. She is a founding board member of the Rainbow Alliance of Fairfield County. She also serves on the board of the Recovery Center in Lancaster, Ohio and on the HRC Parents for Transgender Equality Council.
As the mother of a transgender teenager, Melissa has over 12 years of advocacy work educating professionals in healthcare, education, and policy-making related to supporting gender-diverse youth. She has partnered with the Human Rights Campaign, Welcoming Schools, PFLAG, ACLU, and healthcare organizations and has spoken to lawmakers and officials at the state and national levels. Melissa and her husband Mikael live in Lancaster, Ohio, with twins who are about to leave the nest for college, as well as several entitled cats and the two best dogs in the world.