Emira Woods is a consultant, strategist, researcher, and advocate specializing in social impact and innovation.

Emira is a Senior Adviser at Shine. The Shine Campaign is a growing community of foundations, faith-based groups and NGOs dedicated to catalyzing investment in access to safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy for all. Together, we are fueling economic development, protecting our planet and transforming lives.

Emira is also a Trustee of the Wallace Global Fund, board member of Action Aid International, and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. In addition, Emira is a founding board member of Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity, a network of African social movements. She also serves as a Mentor at the Fighters’ Table supporting Feminist leadership in Black and Brown communities.

Emira has served as Director of Social Impact at ThoughtWorks, a global technology firm. Her work forged strategic relationships linking social movements to innovative technology, funding, policymakers and other resources. Originally from Liberia, Emira led ThoughtWorks’ efforts to bring more robust technology solutions to the Ebola crisis and other global social impact initiatives.

Prior to ThoughtWorks, Ms. Woods worked at the Institute for Policy Studies, as Director of Foreign Policy In Focus. Her focus was on research, analysis, advocacy and communications/media regarding U.S. foreign policy, with added expertise in US-Africa policy. During her career she spent eight years as the Africa Program Officer with Oxfam America and four years as Manager of Development Policy and Practice at InterAction, the U.S. network of intentional development and humanitarian organizations.

Emira also serves on the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Africa Council and the Advisory Board of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars.

Ms. Woods has been a regular commentator on CNN’s Your World Today, BBC’s The World Today (Weekend), and appears regularly on Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, CGTN and Voice of America. She has written on a range of issues from climate change, trade and investment to U.S. military policy.

Ms. Woods completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at Columbia University and her graduate studies in Political Economy and Government at Harvard.


Climate Change Disproportionately Affects Africa

IPS Associate Fellow Emira Woods joins CNN International to discuss the impact of fossil fuel extraction, especially on the frontline communities in Africa currently suffering from the effects an oil spill in southern Nigeria.

Shine Campaign: Energizing women in the Global South

The future of sustainable energy innovation is women-led, community-powered, and based in the Global South.

Africa’s True Liberation Beckons

Africa Liberation Day represents a clarion call to the continent as her diaspora demands complete political and economic freedom.

Vast Resources in Africa Cannot Be Extracted To Benefit the 1%

Large corporations — particulaly in oil, gas, mining, and land acquisition — dominate the table alongside the U.S. government in the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

Statement in Support and Solidarity with the Abducted Girls of the Government Girls School, Chibok, Nigeria

A coalition of faith-based, human rights groups, and members of the Nigerian Diaspora in the United States will hold a vigil in Washington, DC in support of the abducted school girls of the Government Girls School in Chibok, Nigeria and to show solidarity with the families of the girls.

The Moment for Climate Justice

As global civil society calls for a renewable energy revolution, the U.S. Congress is considering an African energy initiative that leaves the door wide open to fossil fuels.

Electrifying Africa – But at What Cost to Africans?

Two U.S. initiatives to provide Africans with electricity seem likely to lead to large, climate-polluting projects rather than the locally sourced renewable energy rural Africa needs.

Ethno-Religious Violence in Central African Republic

Emira Woods discusses the international community’s concerns regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic on Voice of America.

Mandela’s Global Social Impact

Emira Woods speaks on the significance of Nelson Mandela’s passing on CCTV America: “The spirit of Mandela lives on, a spirit that continues to fight for justice.”

“Viva Mandela, Viva!”

The Institute for Policy Studies Mourns and Celebrates Nelson Mandela, Revolutionary Freedom Fighter

Electrifying Africa – But at What Cost to Africans?

Two U.S. initiatives to provide Africans with electricity seem likely to lead to large, climate-polluting projects rather than the locally sourced renewable energy rural Africa needs.

Emira Woods on PBS NewsHour: Obama’s Africa Trip

Emira Woods discusses the substance and symbolism of President Obama’s trip to Africa on PBS NewsHour.

Emira Woods: Obama Administration Needs a New Approach to Africa

Emira Woods urges the Obama administration to move away from policies that favor the extraction of African resources and the militarization of the continent.

New Policy Statement: A New Direction for U.S. Policy on Africa

An open statement by the Africa Advocacy Network is critical of the Obama Administration’s policy toward Africa and calls for a new approach to trade and investment, militarization, agriculture and land policy, and more in the region.

No Military Solution in Mali, Emira Woods Says

The co-director of the Institute’s Foreign Policy In Focus project discussed the African conflict on the PBS NewsHour.

The Strange Case of Charles Taylor

This long-awaited verdict against the former Liberian strongman brings some measure of justice to a region ripped apart by brutality, greed, and proxy wars.

Can Kony 2012 Make a Difference for Ugandan Youth?

The “Kony 2012” campaign went viral, while making a call for military to support for a failed regime in Uganda. Watch this discussion on social media and African politics in PBS NewsHour.

Risks for Dark-Skinned Libyans

Libya’s rampant acts of racism against dark-skinned Libyan civilians must be brought to the attention of the international community, who must address the problem and hold Libya accountable.

[VIDEO] Women of Peace with an Activist Spirit

Commenting on the three women at the forefront of peace for years who were recently honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, on a PBS Newshour segment.

Emira Woods: Libya Must Shape its Own Future

Emira Woods takes questions on what can and should come next for Libya.

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    Africa, Debt Reflief, Foreign Aid, foreign policy, International Financial Institutions, International Gender Issues, International Monetary Fund, Liberia, Sudan

    Burning Issues: Reexamining Our Africa Policy

    Campaign for America's Future | April 26, 2016

    Emira Woods on Africa Summit

    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting | August 15, 2014

    West African Ebola Outbreak

    Marc Steiner Show | August 4, 2014