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Assefa Melesse
Florida International University

Dr. Assefa M. Melesse is a Professor of Water Resources Engineering at the Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University (FIU) with background in remote sensing and geospatial applications to hydrological modeling. He earned his M.E. (2000) and Ph.D. (2002) from the University of Florida in Agricultural Engineering focusing on watershed hydrology. His areas of research and experience include climate change impact modeling, watershed modeling, sediment transport, surface and groundwater interaction modeling, water-energy-carbon flux coupling and simulations, remote sensing hydrology, river basin management, and land cover change detection and scaling. He has also worked on the application of machine learning and other statistical learning techniques to hydrology. He has vast experience in the Nile River basin and the Caribbean islands. He is the chair and founder of the Nile Talk Forum and the International Environment and Society (EAS) conference series at FIU. He organized and chaired four international conferences over the last four years. Dr. Melesse was a Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia in 2012. In addition, he has served in two Fulbright Review panels and is currently a Fulbright Faculty Liaison at FIU. He has been a reviewer and member of proposal review and advisory panels in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa including for NSF, REACH Project at the University of Oxford, HiWET project in Belgium, Swiss National Science Foundation, United Arab Emirates, NCSTE of Kazakhstan, and many others. Dr. Melesse is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) and Diplomate of Water Resources Engineer (D. WRE) with over 30 years of teaching and research experience. He is author and editor of 7 books (3 more are under review) and over 550 publications, including over 215 journal articles, over 90 book chapters, conference proceedings and conference presentations. Dr. Melesse served as advisor/co-advisor for over 70 graduate students. He graduated 23 PhD and a number of master's students over the last 18 years.

Department of State Profile

Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
Subnational Diplomacy Unit (SDU)

Assefa Melesse is a Senior Climate and Environment Fellow in the Office of Subnational Diplomacy Unit (SDU) working on climate security and climate diplomacy issues. SDU serves as a conduit to local leaders in the U.S., such as mayors and governors, to ensure that the Department of State connects them to tangible benefits of foreign policy and supports U.S. local leaders in engaging internationally and with the department. Assefa works to develop and implement subnational diplomacy climate priorities at the local and state levels. He works closely with other offices on priority environmental areas, including plastic pollution, climate adaptation, water security, and coastal flooding issues. He also liaises with the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) and the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) to advise SPEC and OES officials on climate diplomacy strategies and opportunities within local cities and communities both domestically and overseas. He will work with the interagency on developing a coordination cell for subnational climate issues. He also serves as an advisor to the Special Representative and Deputy Special Representative on other subnational matters.