Rama Mani

Dr. Elizabeth Debold

Dr. Rama Mani was awarded the Peter Becker Peace Prize in 2013 in Marburg, Germany, for the combined impact of her scholarship and peace activism. She is a peacebuilder, poet and performance artist whose life, work and art are devoted to global and individual transformation.

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.

Theatre of Transformation’s catalytic process, based on 25 years of expertise in peacebuilding, leadership and governance, engages people to transform crises into opportunities through four transformative steps: ‘witnessing reality, awakening possibility, envisioning change and enacting transformation’. The Academy’s programmes create circles of solidarity between diverse people and cultures, and raise funds for peace and justice missions in countries in conflict.

Rama is a Councilor of the World Future Council, and served on the Jury of the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ or the Right Livelihood Award. She is an Associate Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and former Director of the Global Peace and Security Course. She is on the Faculty of the M.A. in Transitional Justice at the Geneva Academy for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, at the Graduate Institute and University of Geneva.

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 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.

She 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 grew up in India, lived and worked in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland, and now lives in rural France near Geneva.

She is married to Professor Alexander Schieffer, Co-Founder of Trans4m Centre for Integral Development and has one son, Arjuna, aged 21, a budding philosopher, poet and rap musician.