Melissa is an experienced conservation leader, responsible for developing and executing strategies, managing teams and ensuring results to address the world’s most pressing challenges to people and nature. Melissa began working with The Nature Conservancy in 2006. She has served as the Deputy State Director for the US Washington State Chapter, took on the role of Managing Director, Global Oceans Strategic Initiatives in 2018, and became the Global Director of Ocean Protection in 2019. She leads the team responsible for TNC’s global ocean protection and blue finance strategies.
The Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation strategy she leads was a winner of the 2019 TED Audacious competition, with the goal of protecting over 4 million km2 of ocean and generating $1.6 billion for ocean conservation.
Prior to coming to the Conservancy, Melissa was an attorney in commercial litigation practice, and she served as a law clerk in the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. She received her J.D. from Cornell Law School, and her B.A., with honors, from Indiana University, with a triple major in Political Science, History, and Economics.