As Head of Communications and chief spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Melissa Fleming works to drive empathy and generate support for the world’s 65 million refugees and displaced people.

Prior to working for the UNHCR, she served eight years as Spokesperson and Head of Press & Public Information at the International Atomic Energy Agency during the period the organisation made headlines for its inspection work in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Believing in the power of public speaking to move audiences. Her TED talk, Let’s help refugees thrive, not just survive, has been viewed over one million times around the world and has been subtitled in 28 languages.

Over 1.5 million people watched her second TED talk about an extraordinary young Syrian woman who, with the baby she saved, was one of the only survivors of a boat wreck that killed 500 refugees,  including her fiancé. She has written a book on the story, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, published in 2017.

My job is to make people care about the sixty five million displaced people in the world. I wish I could tell every single one of their stories. Because if people knew their stories, I don’t think there would be so many walls.