Expert Profile

Dr Rama Mani
Position(s) Founder, Voice of Witness and Awakening; Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford
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Personal website

Dr Rama Mani is a transformative leader, peacebuilder, poet and performance artist whose life, work and art are devoted to human and global transformation. She received the Excellence in Leadership Award of the Global Thinkers Forum in December 2018, and the Peter Becker Peace Prize in 2013 in Germany.

Dr Rama Mani is the Founder of Theatre of Transformation Academy, whose purpose is to champion and support the creative power of humanity to shape our shared future.

She is the Convenor of the Enacting Global Transformation Collaborative Initiative at the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies, which seeks to redefine paradigms of power, and shape creative and humane responses to current global crises.

Both initiatives are grounded in the Theatre of Transformation artform and methodology, developed by Rama, based on her 30 years of expertise in peacebuilding, leadership and governance, with inputs from diverse scholars and decision makers. All Rama’s programmes create circles of solidarity between diverse people and cultures, raise funds for her peace missions, and support the Academy’s grassroots partners in crisis countries.

Rama is the Co-Founder of Rising Women Rising World, together with Prof. Jean Houston and Dr Scilla Elworthy, a global group of women leaders whose aim is to ‘co-create a world that works for all’.

Rama is a Councilor of the World Future Council which protects the rights of future generations and awards the Future Policy Awards. She was a Jury member of the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ or Right Livelihood Award.

Rama was earlier Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka’s pre-eminent policy and research centre addressing conflict, peace and human rights.

She was the Director of the Global Peace and Security Course for senior diplomats, military officers and international policy makers at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

She served as Oxfam GB’s Africa Strategy Manager, addressing conflicts across the continent while based in Addis Ababa and Kampala.

She was the Senior External Relations Officer to the Commission on Global Governance, responsible for integrating international, civic and academic inputs to its report, Our Global Neighbourhood (OUP 2005) and for preparing the report’s global launch at the UN’s 50th anniversary.

Rama is regularly invited by the United Nations and numerous international organisations to advise them and offer Theatre of Transformation performances, leadership seminars and keynotes. She has served on the Board of prestigious international foundations including Foundation for the Future, Academic Council on the United Nations, UNESCO-International Centre for Human Sciences & Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

Rama authored “Beyond Retribution: Seeking Justice in the Shadows of War” (Polity/Blackwell: 2002/2007) and co-edited “Responsibility to Protect: Cultural Perspectives from the Global South” (Routledge: 2011). 

Rama has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cambridge, UK, an M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University, USA, and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College USA in Politics and French Literature. She is a French national and an Indian Overseas Citizen, having grown up in India.



Links:  ;

Theatre of Transformation Academy:

Enacting Global Transformation University of Oxford:


Relevant Articles:

*'Theatre of Transformation' by Rama Mani, in the Fall | Winter 2016 Edition of Kosmos Journal   :

*European Business Review, Female Leaders in Our Times’ 11 April 2016

The Gift of Peace, 2018.