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.


Bush and Bremer Blinked

The meeting between the UN, the Coalition, and the Iraqi Governing Council on 19 January suggests that the harsh realities of an election year in the U.S. may be making elections more feasible in Iraq.

Eritrea/Ethiopia War Looms

The latest State Department call for progress in the stalled Ethiopia-Eritrea peace accord–issued this week and coming on the heels of similar expressions of concern by European diplomats last week–is welcome news for those fearing the renewal of war.

Sharon’s Judenrein?

In an article posted on the History News Network website in early January, freelance writer Rachel Neuwirth asks, ??Why is it that people are proposing a Middle East peace plan that will make Judea and Samaria Judenrein–the Nazi term for a place with no Jews???

The World Bank’s Great Gamble in Central Africa

Through a carefully orchestrated plan to impose transparency and good governance on the elected Chadian officials, the World Bank aims to ensure that the money is used to benefit the nation??s people, who are among the poorest in the world.

A New Generation of Struggle

It took U.S. activists decades of campaigning against the apartheid regime in South Africa to arrive at strategies that, when combined with a commitment to transnational relationships, changed more than individual attitudes.

When Intervention is Necessary, Who Can You Call?

At the heart of the debate is the question of whether progressives believe that U.S. power can be used for good in Africa or elsewhere in cases of mass killings and other crimes against humanity?

Candidates Seeking Multilateral Debt Cancellation for the Poorest Countries

People looking to get excited about American democracy in an election year needn’t look further than the current proposals on poor country debt relief from multilateral institutions being put forward by the presidential campaigns.

Violence Returns to Cote dIvoire

Guns that had been silent for two years became active again in early November, with President Laurent Gbagbo??s government launching an all-out air attack on rebel positions, and in the process “mistakenly” killing nine French soldiers.

Peace Accord in Sudan

In the first week of January, Sudanese rebels and the Khartoum government signed a pact ending one of Africa’s longest wars.

Aid That Doesn’t Deliver

The Bush administration has pledged $350 million to tsunami relief. It??s a safe bet that at least $248 million of that money will be spent right here in the U.S.

Farming for Families and Food, Not Corporate Profits

Two contradictory visions of globalization are sweeping around the world.

Intervene to Save Darfur

For the past two years, the destruction of Darfur has played out before the eyes of the world, and the member countries of the United Nations have remained largely paralyzed.

Sell the Gold, Free the Poor

When historians look back over the past 25 years, one of the great crimes they will identify is the Third World debt crisis.

Poverty in Africa isn’t History — or Destiny

Africa’s expectations were quite clear: nothing short of a comprehensive treatment of debt, trade and development finance, along with removal of the constraints that have held back the continent’s growth and progress.

Debt and Corruption

It must be said that corruption in Nigeria is a by product of the general rut that has beset the nation through more than three decades of military rule as well as years of short-sighted civilian governments.

Liberia: Beyond the Troops-No-Troops Debate

Fueled by media images of carnage and desperation, a debate has been begun regarding a possible U.S. role in Liberia, but so far it has been all troops or no troops, without adequate attention to the big picture.


For many in the U.S., Somalia is viewed as a powerful symbol of United Nations peacekeeping failure.

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