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.


Regime Change: The Strategies and Potential of Nonviolent Struggle

Revolutionary violence was once considered the only way for oppressed peoples to change draconian circumstances but recent history is changing that notion.

Ballots vs. Bullets in Kenya and Zimbabwe

The world’s attention has been riveted in 2008 by election crises in Kenya and now Zimbabwe. What’s next the the battle of the ballot vs. the bullet?

Africas Own Needs Should Come First

Rising prices make African oil a tempting prize. But African leaders are resisting U.S. plans to militarize the continent, saying their resources should be used to alleviate poverty.

Zimbabwe Elections, News from Somalia

National Public Radio’s News & Notes.

Mugabe’s Role in Zimbabwe’s Downfall

National Public Radio’s Weekend All Things Considered

Obama Race Speech Analysis

With his speech on race, Barack Obama has already brought about one much-needed change: people across the United States are examining our personal, systemic, and deeply entrenched racism

Modern-Day Slavery and the Big Game

Most viewers watching the Super Bowl will be oblivious to the abuses of one of its key sponsors.

The New Military Frontier: Africa

The battle for African hearts and minds will not be won if it’s clear that it is being waged more for the sake of U.S. strategic interests than African needs.

AFRICOM: Wrong for Liberia, Disastrous for Africa

The United States wants to set up a new command structure in Africa. Columnist Emira Woods and Ezekiel Pajibo explain why Liberia and Africa should just say no.

The Best and Worst of Nairobi

The Forum brought 70,000 people to Nairobi. But, Emira Woods asks, where was the Kenyan government support?

Slavery Persists

2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade but modern-day forms of slavery are devastating lives throughout much of the African world.

U.S. Ambivalence Undermining Historic Uganda Peace Talks

Historic peace talks currently underway in Uganda are the best opportunity to end Africa’s longest running war. Yet the Bush administration has been ambiguous about the U.S. position on the talks.

Nobel Women’s Initiative

The Nobel Women’s Initiative is trying to reduce the risk of war with Iran.

Tyrant Finally has His Day in Court

Seeing Taylor in handcuffs has given great hope to victims of dictators the world over.

Women are Africa’s Political Hope

The African political landscape is being reshaped by women, generating hope for the future of the continent and raising the bar for democracy worldwide.

Africa Policy Outlook 2006

In 2006, as concern grows over the most pressing security threats, from HIV/AIDS and the bird flu to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, the U.S. will face increasing demands to adapt its Africa policy to address these contemporary challenges.

Can Africa’s First Woman President Get Liberia Back on Track?

Liberia’s new president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, will need more than photo-ops with the America’s first female African-American secretary of State to lift her country out of the ruins of two decades of war.

A Carbon Rush at the World Bank

As the Kyoto Protocol comes into force this month, a carbon rush is gaining steam in the financial industry.

Historic Victories, New Challenges

How 100% debt cancellation for poor countries–now being debated by wealthy nations–was transformed from an implausible demand into a winning issue, and what barriers lie ahead for the debt relief movement.

Associate Fellow

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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