Melanie looks to advance conservation and sustainability in ways that incorporate inclusivity, diversity and innovation. An interdisciplinary expert in systems science, sustainability and environment, and collaborative design, her career spans diverse roles and sectors. She is committed to global conservation collaboration, international dialogue, fostering network formation, as well as empowering new kinds of leadership, community and cross-sectoral programme development.
Melanie joined the institute in 2015, and filled many roles including Head of Programme before being appointed Director of the Institute in 2021. Previously, she led the delivery of the institute’s programme of work as well as the UK-based office and collaborative engagement with the United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation and Monitoring Centre.
From 2012 – 2015, Melanie worked globally on international, cross-sectoral collaboration for community engagement, integrated landscape and river basin planning, especially in Asia-Pacific, Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand and Europe. Supporting NGOs, government and universities, she led the development of effective community and corporate programmes, successfully initiated and scaled gender, capacity building and inclusion and diversity programmes for an international audience. Prior to this, she held senior roles in the eWater cooperative research programme in Australia, and worked within the Queensland Government in Australia supporting science-policy teams focusing on water reform as well as effective environmental management and policy.
As well as having published in academic journals and books, Melanie supports the development of workshops, training and course work for capacity building for global conservation. Melanie holds a Bachelor’s Degree (First Class honours) in International Relations and German, and a Master of Science in Environment and Sustainability, as well as qualifications from the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).