Emira Woods is the Global Client Principal for Social Impact Programs at ThoughtWorks, a technology firm commited to social and economic justice. From 2003 to 2014, she was co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and an expert on U.S. foreign policy with a special emphasis on Africa and the developing world. She has written on a range of issues from debt, trade and development to U.S. military policy. Emira serves on the Board of Directors of Africa Action, Just Associates, Global Justice and the Financial Policy Forum. She is also on the Network Council of Jubilee USA.

Emira completed her undergraduate studies at Columbia University and her graduate studies at Harvard. Prior to joining IPS, she was program manager for the Committee on Development Policy and Practice at InterAction, serving as a principal staff contact for advocacy at the UN, the international financial institutions, USAID and Treasury. Previous to that, she served as a program officer of Oxfam America’s Africa program.

Ms. Woods is a regular commentator on CNN’s Your World Today, BBC’s The World Today (Weekend), and appears regularly on Al Jazeera and Voice of America. She has hosted a WashingtonPost.com online chat and has published pieces in BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine, NAACP’s Crisis magazine as well as the Miami Herald, the Christian Science Monitor, New York Newsday, the Nation, the Baltimore Sun, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, among many others.

Ms. Woods is chair of the Board of Africa Action and serves on the advisory committee of the Zimbabwe Alliance as well as the Humanity United/Trustafrica Liberia program. She is also on the Board of Directors of Global Justice and is a member of the Network Council of Jubilee USA.

Latest

U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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

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?

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

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

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?

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 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: 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

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

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?

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: Libya Must Shape its Own Future

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

Libya Must Shape its Own Future

After 42 years of Muammar el-Qaddafi, it is now long overdue for the Libyan people to determine their own destiny.

Calling for a Ceasefire in Libya

A call to Congress for a cease-fire in Libya, issued by U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations that support human rights and democracy in Africa.

NATO Dispute, Cease-Fire Negotiations Hint at Possible Stalemate in Libya

Intense fighting continues between rebels and Moammar Gadhafi's forces as NATO nations met in Qatar to debate their next steps in Libya. Gwen Ifill discusses the NATO rift with the Institute for Policy Studies' Emira Woods and the Brookings Institution's Shadi Hamid.

Associate Fellow

Institute for Policy Studies

emira@ips-dc.org

Topics of Interest

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

In the News

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

U.S. Summit Seeks to Play Catch-Up in Africa

Inter Press Service | August 3, 2014