Melinda Hightower is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and attended Cornell University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations in 2000. At Cornell, she was a Mening Family Cornell National Scholar and a member of the Cornell Debate Team. In 2000, she was selected to be member of the Cross-Examination Debate Association’s National Debate Team and represented the United States at competitions throughout Europe.
Upon graduation, Ms. Hightower worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, in New York, New York. She was an associate in the human resources consulting group and undertook graduate coursework in Statistics at Columbia University. In 2001, Ms. Hightower became a compensation and benefits professional at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), a sports entertainment company based in Stamford, Connecticut. While at WWE, she volunteered with the New York Urban Debate League, a nonprofit organization that uses debate training and curricula to mentor and develop informed, concerned citizens.