Melissa Fisher Named Kaua‘i Program Director

Former deputy director is a nine-year Conservancy veteran

HONOLULU, HI  | May 22, 2017

Melissa Fisher has been named The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i’s Kaua‘i Program Director. Fisher, a nine-year veteran with the Conservancy, now oversees all of the organization’s forest conservation programs for the island, including two Nature Conservancy preserves – Kanaele Bog and Wainiha Preserve. She also serves as the coordinator for the Kaua‘i Watershed Alliance and as Kaua‘i representative with the Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships (HAWP). She has been the Kauaʻi program deputy director since 2011.

Fisher succeeds Trae Menard, who had been serving in dual roles as Kauaʻi Program Director and Director of Forest Conservation. Menard launched the successful Kaua‘i program in 2005, and pioneered the development of the Conservancy’s innovative conservation technologies. Menard will now turn his full attention to strategic management and extending the application of innovation tools to priority watershed forests statewide. 

“I am very pleased and proud that Melissa is leading the Kaua‘i program,” said Menard. “She has been effectively managing our complex field operations for years, developing innovative technologies, supervising our team, and working well with partners. Melissa’s good-natured demeanor, intellect, and willingness to go the extra mile is appreciated by all of us who work with her,” he said. 

“I am very excited to continue leading the Kauaʻi program and expanding my role within the community,” Fisher said. “I look forward to furthering the success of our Kaua‘i program by managing our resources wisely, focusing on innovation and cultivating partnerships that leverage each other’s strengths,” she said.   

“Our excellent team makes the Conservancy a great place to work. I’m pleased to see our staff moving into new leadership positions that will help us contribute even more to conserving Hawaii’s natural resources,” said Ulalia Woodside, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi.  

In addition to her work on Kaua‘i, Fisher led the Conservancy’s Women in Nature diversity initiative and has contributed to operational improvements that enable the global organization to more efficiently manage equipment lifecycles, contracts, databases, and risk.

In 2012, she participated in the Conservancy's Emerging Leaders Program and earned a Masters of Business Administration from Marylhurst University. 

Fisher attributes her acumen leading field work in remote areas in part to the four years she co-captained a 35-foot sailboat from Washington to Panama.

“On our sailboat, we did everything ourselves – when something broke we had to figure out how to fix it with what we had onboard,” she said.  “That gave me the experience and understanding required to support our team when they face similar situations in the remote areas of Kaua‘i’s native forests.”

In her spare time, Fisher works with her husband remodeling their home and growing food in their garden. She enjoys making jewelry and volunteering in the community; currently, she is helping form a conservation women’s group on Kauaʻi.

“One of my favorite aspects of this position is the opportunity it affords me to contribute directly to improving, preserving and protecting my own backyard. I’m eager to keep doing all I can for Kauaʻi, not only for my friends and family but Hawaiʻi, our planet, and future generations,” said Fisher. 





The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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