Amali is the founder and executive director of Climate Refugees. She has extensive global experience in refugee protection, refugee resettlement and in forced migration and displacement contexts, having worked for numerous NGOs, the UN Refugee Agency and the US Refugee Admissions Program. Years of interviewing refugees fleeing conflict afforded her the chance to hear their stories of also fleeing climate change. Through this, Climate Refugees was born. She has conducted country and regional visits of case studies and research in climate-induced displacement contexts, including in urban and camp settings. Her research on climate, conflict and displacement in the Lake Chad Basin in Africa’s Sahel was presented as evidence of loss and damage at COP 26 in Glasgow.
She is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network in Migration, Human Rights & Humanitarian Response, and the UC Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law (climate refugees & immigrant justice working group).
From being asked to respond to Afghan evacuations to overseeing UNHCR operations for Syrian resettlement to the United States, Amali is frequently consulted for her expertise, including in rapid deployments, humanitarian and high-profile contexts. She also frequently consults in areas of human rights, campaigning, advocacy, legislation and public policy. Amali serves displaced populations as an experienced defender and her clients as a partner and advisor. She developed her work ethic, world views and deep commitment to forcibly displaced populations through a lived experience of instability, and as an immigrant, migrant, and even once, an asylum-seeker. She’s born of that education, life in multiple countries, and also those at Columbia University, where she has a Master of International Affairs focused in Human Rights from the School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in International Development Studies from UCLA. She resides in New York City.