Melanie Nakagawa is the Head of Climate Initiative with Princeville Global, an investment firm focused on backing rapidly-growing technology-related companies around the world. Previously, she served with the U.S. State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation in the Bureau of Energy Resources, leading efforts to promote the global shift toward a low carbon economy as integral to economic development and addressing energy security and climate change. She was also on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 2013-2015, serving as a strategic advisor to Secretary Kerry and advancing efforts to elevate climate change as a foreign policy priority.
Prior to State Department she was the Senior Energy and Environment Counsel for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee responsible for drafting legislation, developing policy recommendations, and conducting oversight on energy security, climate change and environmental issues. Prior to her government service, she was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council in the international program focused on environmental protection, climate change, and clean energy.
Nakagawa received her law degree from American University Washington College of Law and Master of Arts in International Affairs from American University School of International Service, and Bachelor of Arts from Brown University focused on international relations and the global environment. She is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and has served on the Public International Law & Policy Group Advisory Council.