Melodie Rydalch of Salt Lake City, a former resident of Rexburg, retired last week after a 34-year career working with members of Congress and in the United States Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City.
Rydalch started her career working as the sports editor and staff writer at the Rexburg Standard Journal and as the managing editor of the Jefferson Star in Rigby. She joined the staff of Idaho Congressman Richard Stallings in 1985 and served as press secretary and administrative assistant/chief of staff in his congressional office in Washington, D.C., for eight years. After Stallings left office, Rydalch moved to Utah to work as state coordinator for Utah Congressman Bill Orton.
She joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1997 as the Law Enforcement Coordinator and Public Information Officer. The U.S. Attorney is presidentially appointed as the lead federal law enforcement officer in Utah. The U.S. Attorney directs a staff of around 100 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and professional support staff in offices in Salt Lake City and St. George. Rydalch has been a member of the office senior leadership team for several years.
She was recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice for her work on public safety issues supporting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Utah and for her leadership in planning and executing the Utah National Security and Anti-Terrorism Conference held annually in Salt Lake City. More than 700 people attend the annual conference. Nationally recognized leaders in the national security/counter-terrorism arena have given presentations or briefings at the conference. Attendees include local, state, and federal law enforcement and prosecution departments and offices, infrastructure support groups, defense contractors, members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and others who provide security for soft targets such as hotels, religious buildings, and schools.
Rydalch has represented the Department of Justice in international training conferences in Eastern Europe. She has helped train law enforcement investigators and prosecutors working to develop transparent media policies and build relationships with the journalists they work with. She conducted two trainings in Chisinau, Moldova, and one in Tbilisi, Georgia.