Melissa Barbanell is the Director of US-International Engagement within the World Resources Institute’s climate program. In that role, she leads high-level climate and energy dialogues between non-governmental U.S. participants and counterparts in China, India, Mexico, 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.

Melissa’s experiences over the last twenty plus years, ranging from volunteer park ranger and environmental educator to air quality attorney and corporate sustainability executive, have all focused on protecting the environment. She has developed significant subject-matter expertise in climate and energy, air quality, chemicals management, water stewardship, public lands management, and biodiversity conservation. Throughout her extensive international environmental diplomacy engagement, Melissa has brought technical knowledge of environmental sciences to bear on public policy decision making.

Before joining the World Resources Institute, 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. Much of Melissa’s career has focused on climate mitigation and resilience. Recently, Melissa has worked with Citizens Climate Lobby and Utah legislators in efforts to develop and pass federal and state climate legislation. Earlier in her career, Melissa directed Barrick Gold Corporation’s environmental sustainability agenda, developing and implementing a globally-applicable climate strategy aimed at managing climate-related risks through better planning, emissions reductions, and growth of the company’s renewable energy portfolio.

Melissa recently earned an M.A. in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University to complement her 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.