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’s Colorado Chapter in 2006, with a primary focus on innovative large-scale land transactions. From 2014 through 2017, she served as the Deputy State Director for the Washington State Chapter, and then took on the role of Managing Director, Global Oceans Strategic Initiatives in 2018, and the Global Director of Ocean Protection in 2019. She leads the team responsible for TNC’s global ocean protection, coastal resilience, coastal wetland conservation and reef systems restoration, blue carbon, ocean planning and mapping, and community-based conservation programs.
Prior to coming to The Nature Conservancy, Melissa was an attorney in commercial litigation practice at firms in New York and Colorado, 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.