Melissa is the Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Rights. Melissa started her career in 1998 as attorney at law firm Sonnenberg Hoffmann Galombik (now ENSAfrica), followed by a stint at Sydney law firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst). After completing a Master’s degree in London, she joined the Research & Policy Unit of the South African Country Office of the IUCN (World Conservation Union) in 2003. She was appointed Director: Enforcement at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in 2005, where she was responsible for both enforcement of national land use, pollution and waste legislation, as well as the roll-out of the Environmental Management Inspectorate, until 2008. Melissa holds the degrees BA LLB from the University of Stellenbosch, and an MSc in Environment & Development from the London School of Economics. She also holds certificates in tax law, environmental law and environmental compliance and enforcement from the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand and Pretoria respectively. In 2018, Melissa completed the Art of Leadership programme at the U.S. based Rockwood Leadership Institute. In 2020, she was appointed to the Presidential Climate Change Commission.