Melissa McCracken

Melissa McCracken

(617) 627-3734
Research/Areas of Interest:

Water Cooperation and Diplomacy ; Water Conflict and Conflict Transformation; Effective Cooperative Processes; Transboundary Water Management and Governance; Water Security; Sustainable Development Goal 6; Water Footprinting; Political Geography


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Oregon State University, USA, 2019
  • Master of Science, Univ. of East Anglia Engl., GBR, 2013
  • Bachelor of Science, Calif State Polytechnic Univ, USA, 2010


Melissa McCracken is an assistant professor of international environmental policy. She directs the Shared Waters Lab and is an affiliate with the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy and the Center for International Law and Governance at Fletcher. Her research focus is on international water policy and management, cooperation and conflict over shared surface and groundwaters, and conflict transformation surrounding environmental resources. Broadly, she supports interdisciplinary research and teaching for water policy and management. Water is both a human and physical resource and therefore requires collaborative technical and policy solutions. Her current work addresses how transboundary water cooperation is defined and measured, with the goal of operationalizing a method for evaluating effective transboundary water cooperation. She is a collaborator with the Transboundary Freshwater Diplomacy Database at Oregon State University on additional projects to monitor hydropolitical tension and identify factors that contribute to potential conflict or cooperation, including research on international freshwater agreements, river basin organizations, and events over freshwater. Prior to joining The Fletcher School at Tufts University, Melissa was a Post-Doctoral Scholar with the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, as well as the Manager of the Transboundary Freshwater Diplomacy Database housed at Oregon State University. She has a Ph.D. in Geography from Oregon State University, an M.Sc. in Water Security and International Development from the University of East Anglia, and a B.S. in General Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
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Selected Publications

McCracken, M., & Wolf, A. T. (2019). Updating the Register of International River Basins of the world. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 35(5), 732-782. doi:10.1080/07900627.2019.1572497

McCracken, M., & Meyer, C. (2018). Monitoring of transboundary water cooperation: Review of Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 6.5.2 methodology. Journal of Hydrology, 563, 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.05.013

McCracken, M. (2022). Defining effective transboundary water cooperation. doi:10.4324/9781003126249