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MeLena Hessel

Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Melena Hessel headshot

MeLena Hessel is a senior policy advocate with the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC), a midwestern public interest environmental advocacy group that drives transformational policy. She focuses on clean energy access and development, as well as clean transportation initiatives. Hessel’s current projects support the growth of renewable energy in Illinois, advance community and low-income solar power throughout the Midwest, and revitalize the Chicago Pedway. In this role, she collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders, including frontline organizations, government offices, and private companies.

Prior to joining ELPC, Hessel was on the global research and strategy team at LaSalle Investment Management, where she performed market research and regional economic analysis to inform commercial real estate investment strategy. Some of her favorite projects at LaSalle included analyzing and comparing different global metropolitan areas and supporting senior leaders’ work on principles for environmentally sustainable real estate. Early in her career, Hessel worked at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory at the US Army Corps of Engineers, focusing on water sustainability assessments and water conservation recommendations.

Hessel holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brandeis University.

Published on June 29, 2020