Melissa A. Brown assumed the role of Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., at the U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August 2019. Formerly, she was the Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs at U.S. Embassy Singapore, where she also served as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission for one year. While in Singapore, Melissa oversaw execution of the historic 2018 U.S.-DPRK Singapore Summit. She also co-founded the Embassy’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, with a leadership role in championing inclusivity in the workplace.
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, where she worked closely with American companies to navigate Indonesia’s complex regulatory and investment climate. Melissa was also posted to Washington, D.C., where she was detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) as Director for Southeast Asia. Prior to USTR, she was the U.S. State Department’s Vietnam Desk Officer responsible for economic issues.
Melissa’s earlier overseas diplomatic assignments include: Port Louis, Mauritius, with responsibility for economic and commercial issues in Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros; and Bangkok, Thailand, with responsibility for Cambodian immigrant issues.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Melissa was a corporate legal assistant in New York. A graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Melissa studied abroad in Hungary and France. She also completed the State Department’s Economic and Commercial Studies program at the Foreign Service Institute.
Melissa grew up in New Jersey and Jakarta, Indonesia. She speaks Indonesian and French and also studied Khmer (Cambodian) and Hungarian. She and her husband have two children.