Melissa Barbanell is the Director of U.S.-International Engagement at World Resources Institute. In that role, she leads high-level climate and energy dialogues between non-governmental U.S. participants and counterparts in China, India, and the European Union. The objective of these dialogues is to strengthen the avenues of communication through informal discussions on critical issues to facilitate climate action. She also works on a range of issues at the nexus of climate and the clean energy economy including trade, critical minerals, and supply chain security.

Melissa has served in a wide range of roles, including volunteer park ranger, environmental educator, air quality attorney, and corporate sustainability executive. Before joining WRI, Melissa served on three United Nations Environment Programme Technical Expert Groups and represented the International Council on Mining and Metals in the development and implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Melissa has always prioritized bringing technical knowledge of environmental sciences to bear on public policy decision making.

During Melissa’s tenure as the Director of Environmental Sustainability at Barrick Gold Corporation and in leadership roles at several national mining trade associations, Melissa highlighted the need for U.S. companies to understand the global context and drove collaboration with regulatory agencies. Within the global industry, Melissa led efforts to adopt of strong policies to protect biodiversity, to manage water responsibly, and to mitigate climate change.

Melissa holds an M.A. in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University, a J.D. from the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law, M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Utah, and B.A. in Philosophy from Tulane University.