Melissa A. Brown is the Deputy Assistant Secretary with responsibility for the Office of Mainland Southeast Asia Affairs and the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia Affairs.
From 2019 to 2021, Melissa served as the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., at the U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she led an unprecedented expansion of U.S. engagement with ASEAN, as well as efforts to mobilize ASEAN to resolve the political crisis in Burma. Previously, Melissa was the Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs at U.S. Embassy Singapore from 2016 to 2019, where she also served as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission for one year and oversaw execution of the historic 2018 U.S.-DPRK Singapore Summit.
A Southeast Asia expert with a strong trade policy background, Melissa was previously assigned to Jakarta, Indonesia, as the Trade and Investment Unit Chief in U.S. Embassy Jakarta’s Economic Section. In Washington, she was also detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and served on the U.S. State Department’s Vietnam Desk. Her earlier overseas diplomatic assignments included: Port Louis, Mauritius, and Bangkok, Thailand.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Melissa was a corporate legal assistant. A graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Melissa grew up in New Jersey and Jakarta, Indonesia. She speaks Indonesian and French and has studied Khmer (Cambodian) and Hungarian.