Melissa is part of Blue Planet’s senior leadership team and co-leads the organization alongside Blue Planet’s executive director. Melissa also leads Blue Planet’s clean energy and climate policy efforts, strategic impact, and capacity building. She received a law degree and a certificate in Environmental Law from the William S. Richardson School of Law and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Denver. Melissa was born in Colorado, spent her teenage years in Peru, and has lived in Hawaii since 2005. In 2020, Melissa was selected by Hawaii Business Magazine as one of “20 for the Next 20” People to Watch in Hawaii. In 2016, she was selected as one of the Pacific Business News “40 Under 40” young professional leaders. She is a board member of Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH) and is President of the board of Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE). In 2018, she was selected by the Hawaii legislature to serve on the state’s Greenhouse Gas Sequestration Task Force.
Prior to joining Blue Planet, Melissa worked as a legal fellow assisting state agencies in Hawaii with invasive species law and policy, rulemaking, and inter-agency coordination. She has authored papers on climate justice and taught persuasive writing and legislative advocacy at Hawaii’s law school. Melissa also worked as a litigator in private practice and completed a clerkship at the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. Before attending law school, Melissa worked as an environmental scientist for a Hawaii-based consulting company, managing multi-party environmental projects.
When she’s not working to solve climate change, Melissa is either painting, planning her next trip to Comic Con, or eating ramen.
“I’m energized and inspired every day by our amazingly talented, smart, and passionate team. I decided long ago that I wanted to devote my career to helping make the world a better place—I’m grateful and humbled to be part of something as important as tackling climate change.”