Melissa Canady Wargo, Ph.D.

Chief of Staff

Western Carolina University

Dr. Melissa Canady Wargo is Chief of Staff for Western Carolina University. In that capacity, Dr. Wargo serves as primary advisor to the Chancellor and as chief external affairs officer for the University. As a member of the Chancellor’s senior cabinet, she provides executive leadership for state and federal government relations, marketing and creative services, communications and public relations, economic development and regional partnerships, and special events. She is also responsible for board relations with the UNC System Board of Governors and the WCU Board of Trustees.

Dr. Wargo has over 30 years of experience working in higher education at four universities. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington and completed executive development programs in Innovative Higher Education Leadership from Georgetown and Arizona State Universities, Crisis Leadership in Higher Education from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Educational Management from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

A native of Texas, Dr. Wargo is married to her husband, Steve, with whom she has two children.