Dr. Khmelko received her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. She also has an MPA (Master of Public Administration) degree from Bowling Green State University, USA; MA (Master of Arts) from Lancaster University, UK; and a graduate degree from the USSR.

She previously held the position of a Visiting Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington. She also served as an Associate, Contractor, and Invited Guest Speaker for U.S. Agency for International Development funded organizations. She has also served as a project coordinator at the Center for Strategic and International Studies headed by the 10th US National Security Advisor, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski.  

Her research interests lie in the field of world development, democratic institution building, and democratization in comparative politics and public administration.  She has served as a guest editor and published in a variety of journals including The Journal Legislative Studies, The Journal Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Journal of Family and Adolescent Health, and The Journal of East European and Asian Studies. Dr. Khmelko works in seven languages, and some of her articles are published in foreign language publications.