United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Melissa Fleming of the United States as the next Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. She succeeds Alison Smale of the United Kingdom.
Fleming brings to the position over 25 years of strategic vision, innovative management and communications expertise in multilateral organizations spanning the fields of human rights, humanitarian action, conflict prevention, peace-building, free media and nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security, the UN said in a press statement.
Since 2009, she has held the post of Head of Global Communications and Spokesperson for the High Commissioner for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.
While at UNHCR, Fleming led global media outreach campaigns, social media engagement and a multimedia news service serving audiences ranging from media, public, donors, governments and refugees themselves.
She joined UNHCR from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she served for eight years as Spokesperson and Head of the Media and Outreach. Prior to IAEA, she headed the Press and Public Information team at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Earlier still, she served as Public Affairs Specialist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, having started her career as a journalist. From 2016 to 2017, she also served as Senior Advisor and Spokesperson on the incoming United Nations Secretary General's Transition Team.
Fleming holds a Master of Science in Journalism from the College of Communication, Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in German Studies from Oberlin College.