Meléndez Vega was born and raised in the town of Ponce, Puerto Rico. She studied commerce at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras and worked as a legal secretary until she completed her law studies.
Her first professional position was as a lawyer in the Department of Justice in 1976. She progressed to work in a range of positions including as an officer in the Criminal Division, Assistant Prosecutor, District Attorney of Bayamón and San Juan, and Chief Prosecutor. In 2010 she became an independent special prosecutor.
- NotiCel (2019-05-15). "Fallece la fiscal especial independiente Iris Meléndez". NOTICEL. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
- "Muere la fiscal especial independiente Iris Meléndez". Primera Hora. 2019-05-14. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
- Torres, Michelle Estrada (2019-05-14). "Muere la fiscal especial independiente Iris Meléndez". Voces del Sur. Retrieved 2019-05-15.