Melissa Ladner is a program assistant supporting The German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Asia Program in Washington DC, where she manages operational and logistics support for convening. Her portfolio also encompasses the Japan Trilateral Forum and Taiwan programming. Her research interests include U.S. and Chinese relations, geopolitics in the Asia region, and the South China Sea. Prior to GMF, Melissa worked with the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies as a contract research assistant responsible for the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affair’s database tracking claimant in the South China Sea. She also interned for AKE International’s Asia-Pacific Desk as a political risk analyst. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.