Krishanti Dharmaraj



Institute for Policy Studies and Salzburg Global, Austria

Krishanti Dharmaraj is a human rights practitioner and advocate with three decades of experience working to address gender-based discrimination and violence against women at local, national, and global levels. She is the founder of Dignity Index a rights-based methodology and process designed to address direct and indirect discrimination based on multiple and intersecting identities; and is the innovator of Dignidad360 addressing Safety and Freedom for women and girls in public spheres by using a de-colonial approach to addressing gender-based violence. Krishanti is faculty at Glasgow Caledonian University (New York) M.S. program in DEI Leadership. She is a Trustee of THIRST (The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea), Executive Committee member of FAR (Feminist Alliance for Rights), Independent Chair of the Oversight Committee of the Dindigul Agreement, in India, to reduce violence against women workers in the supply change, of the fashion industry, and is on the Governing Board of the Spotlight Initiative representing Civil Society, a €500,000 million fund of the European Union and United Nations to end violence against women and girls.

Most recently, Krishanti was the executive director of center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, the global coordinator of 16Days Campaign to end gender-based violence, implemented in 180+ countries. Selected highlights during her tenure include co-creation of the Journalism initiative on gender-based violence (JiG) convening over 100+ journalists in six regions from 38 countries; restructuring the Feminist Alliance for Rights (FAR) to ensure transnational feminist leadership from the global south and from marginalized communities of global north; and working with advocates, unions and academics for the ratification and implementation of ILO C190 on ending violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work.

Krishanti was the founding executive director of Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) for Human Rights, where she spearheaded the work in San Francisco to pass legislation to implement the international women’s human rights treaty-CEDAW. Currently, this public policy strategy is implemented in cities across the United States. At WILD, she co-created the first US Young Women’s Rights & Leadership program, initiated the US Human Rights Network to advocate for government accountability, and led a delegation of activists & policy makers from the US to the UN World Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa. Krishanti co-founded the Sri Lanka Children’s fund, to support those affected by the tsunami and conflict and has held leadership positions with Amnesty International USA; Women, Law and Development; Center for Asian Pacific Women; Thousand Currents and Horizons Foundation, and has been recognized in the US and globally for her work.

Ms. Dharmaraj holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, at Berkeley, is a 2022 Fellow at Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, and at Institute for Policy Studies in DC (2023-2025). She is a Zen practitioner at Chozen-Ji Rinzai Zen Dojo, Hawaii.