Melissa joined FIU in the fall of 2016 and is pursuing a combined M.A./PhD program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (M.A.) and International Relations (PhD). Before beginning this course of study, Melissa was an International Relations Officer (IRO) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, serving for the last seven years as a diplomat at the Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations in New York. Melissa completed her B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies, as well as her M.A. in Spanish, at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad. Her interests relate to sustainable development, foreign policies, regional integration, international law and human rights.