Melissa Fleming ’86, Head of Communications for the United Nations, Returns for April 10 Talk

Topics to include Fleming's path after Oberlin and recent UN initiatives.

April 5, 2023

Office of Communications

Melissa Fleming.
Photo credit: courtesy of the United Nations

Melissa Fleming, the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the United Nations and a 1986 graduate of Oberlin College, will return to her alma mater to discuss her career and her Oberlin roots in a 4:30 p.m. lecture on Monday, April 10. It will take place in Hallock Auditorium (in the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, 122 Elm St.) and will be followed by a Q&A session. This event is open to all Oberlin students, faculty, and staff with OCID, as well as invited guests.

Titled “From Oberlin to the World: My Journey with the United Nations,” Fleming’s talk will trace her path from Oberlin, from which she earned a degree in German studies, through her current role leading the UN’s Department of Global Communications, which is responsible for informing global audiences about the state of the world and building support for the organization’s work and goals.

On Tuesday, April 11, Fleming will also address the Cleveland Council on World Affairs in a program titled “How the UN is Tackling Global Crises: An Insider’s Perspective.” She will explain the role of the UN and how it is working to improve lives across the globe, and make a case for why Ohio and the UN are natural partners in the work toward a more peaceful, sustainable, just, and humane world. She will also share stories from her personal journey, which has taken her from New York, Geneva and Vienna, to emergency situations and refugee camps throughout the world. 

The Cleveland talk takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the Union Club (1211 Euclid Ave., Cleveland). Admission is free for students; advance registration is available on the council website.

Fleming, who holds a master of science in journalism from Boston University, is also a TED speaker, the author of the book A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, and the host of the award-winning UN podcast Awake at Night. Her Oberlin visit is made possible through the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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