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

Emira is a member of the International Working Group for Africans Rising, a network of African social movements working to build peace, seek justice and manifest dignity. She is Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Trustee of the Wallace Global Fund, and board member of Action Aid International. 

She 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. 

Prior to ThoughtWorks, Ms. Woods worked at the D.C. based think-tank, 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 a particular 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.


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