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Niranjali Amerasinghe

Niranjali Amerasinghe

Executive Director

Meet Niranjali, our fearless Executive Director. She is a leader in the fight against poverty and injustice, overseeing the management and operations of the U.S. office while fostering engagement with the global federation.

With her vast experience in climate change and human rights, Niranjali previously served as a Senior Associate at the World Resources Institute (WRI). She led the Finance Center’s policy work on international climate finance and the Green Climate Fund. She also directed the Climate & Energy Program at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), where she developed legal strategies to shift finance away from fossil fuel investments. Her expertise in international climate negotiations, forest governance, and accountability has earned her recognition in numerous reputable publications, including The Economist, Reuters, and The Guardian, as well as appearances on the BBC.

Niranjali holds an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University Law School and an LL.B from the University of Bristol. She is a classically trained musician and avid gardener. She was born and raised in Sri Lanka.

Selected Media:

Ordo News (October 2023)
How to help give aid to those suffering in Gaza and Israel

Common Dreams (September 2023)
Climate Activists and Frontline communities Call for Genuine Climate Leadership From African Leaders as Climate Summit Kicks Off

Truthout (September 2023)
New Report Shows Major Banks Continue to Fund Climate Chaos in Global South

Common Dreams (September 2023)
Millionaires, economists, and eminent politicians implore the G20 to “tax the super-rich”

Roll Call (December 2022)
Biden faces international climate-aid challenge in fiscal 2024

Devex (November 2021)
Opinion: IMF must recognize need for just, feminist, green transition

Devex (June 2020)
Opinion: Building on past success to prevent a COVID-19-related food crisis

NPR Goats and Soda (June 2020)
U.S. Mulls Controversial Foreign Aid Shake-up

BBC, The Conversation (July 2015)
Defending the Voiceless

World Resources Institute body of research

Selected Publications:

Adapting Our Financial Architecture in a Crisis-Prone World: A Civil Society Proposal for Special Drawing Rights Reform
ActionAid USA & Bretton Woods Project, April 2024

IMF Surveillance and Climate Change Transition Risks: Reforming IMF policy advice to support a just energy transition
ActionAid USA & Bretton Woods Project, August 2021

Selected Videos:

BBC World (November 2021)
Pressure mounting on rich countries to do more at COP26

GOTV 2020

Show Up, Fight Back: connecting the struggle for land rights to the struggle for justice
ActionAid webinar, August 2020

Women leading climate action – Turning crisis into solidarity: driving urgent climate action amidst COVID-19
ActionAid Australia webinar, April 2020

A case for increased climate finance
SFOPS testimony, March 2020

Niranjali and Tristan debrief a month of land and food
October 2019

Niranjali and Brandon debrief a month of climate justice
September 2019

POSTS BY Niranjali Amerasinghe

Blog Post /

Why Nakba Day is different this year

May 15, 2024 By

76 years.   Today marks 76 years since the displacement, depopulation, and despair of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, otherwise known as the Nakba, meaning “the catastrophe.”   76 years later and effectively nowhere, and no one, in Gaza is safe.   Airstrikes are intensifying, thousands are yet again fleeing, and aid delivery…

Insight /

Cease Fire and End Occupation

November 29, 2023 By

Today marks the sixth day of a temporary pause in the most recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas. It is also International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. After the horrific attack on October 7, in which approximately 1,200 Israelis were killed and 200 taken hostage, the Israeli government…

Blog Post /

Big Corporate Leadership Will Not Save Us

February 24, 2023 By

I was disappointed, on multiple levels, to hear about the Biden administration’s nomination of Ajay Banga, a private equity executive with no experience in public service, to head the World Bank.  First, the U.S. should have no real right to unilaterally name the World Bank President – it does so…

Blog Post

Truth Hurts: UN Women just took a reality test, turns out BlackRock shouldn’t be in their DNA

September 1, 2022 By

After UN Women announced a partnership with BlackRock to promote gender lens investing, the outcry was predictably deafening. Hundreds of feminist organizations signed a letter demanding the repudiation of the partnership. Why? Because BlackRock, with nearly $10 trillion in assets under management, has a penchant for prioritizing profit over human…

Insight /

If women stop, the world stops

March 6, 2020 By

By Niranjali Amerasinghe & Jenna Farineau “Women’s rights are human rights.” Famous words delivered by then First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference for Women. The conference is best known for resulting in the Beijing Action Plan, which not only recognized women’s rights as human rights…