Melissa Upreti is Regional Director for Asia at the Center for Reproductive Rights. In her ten years at the Center, she has helped position the Center as a leading advocate of women’s reproductive rights in the region and in the international arena. She has led fact-finding missions to investigate violations of women’s rights resulting from restrictive abortion laws in Nepal and the Philippines and has helped develop pioneering legal strategies to secure accountability for maternal deaths in India and access to safe abortion in Nepal. Melissa Upreti has conceptualized and co-authored several leading publications on women’s reproductive rights in Asia including two regional studies of laws and policies that affect women’s reproductive health and lives, fact-finding reports on controversial topics and analytical studies.
Upreti has been a women’s rights advocate for over fifteen years. Prior to her work at the Center she was a Program Officer at The Asia Foundation in Nepal where she helped managed the legal rights component of a women’s empowerment program and co-ordinated projects on trafficking and violence against women.
Upreti is a graduate of Columbia Law School where she earned her LL.M. degree as a Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholar and was recognized as a Stone Scholar for academic excellence. She possesses a certificate of recognition in International Law from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. While at Columbia Law School, Upreti was the LL.M. representative for Columbia Law Women’s Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in law from India.
Upreti is active in various communities and has served as a mentor to the next generation of reproductive rights advocates in the US through her work as a former board member and adviser to Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She is also on the board of Next Generation Nepal, a US based non-profit engaged in fighting against the trafficking of young children in Nepal.