Imali Bandara (she/her/hers) is a director in The Raben Group’s Issue Campaigns and Movements practice, where she brings experience in public policy, human rights, and social and economic justice philanthropy to support clients. She is deeply committed to amplifying the hard work of nonprofit and community organizations to gain public support.
Prior to joining Raben, Imali spent five years as part of the International Human Rights Program at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. As a program associate, Imali developed expertise in a range of human rights issues, co-managing and providing strategic input on multi-million-dollar grant-making portfolios focused on business and human rights, the protection of human rights defenders and activists, and disability rights. At Wellspring, Imali also co-chaired the Young Professionals Working Group, where she supported the onboarding of junior level programmatic staff, and sat on the Racial Justice Advocacy Group, which developed an internal diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, and built out racial justice outcomes and priorities for the fund’s grant-making programs.
Before Wellspring, Imali worked on the Public Affairs team at the United Nations Foundation (UNF), where she produced digital communications and ran social media channels for the Girl Up Campaign, a global movement to advance girls’ empowerment, skills, and rights. She also engaged in strategic communications efforts on international development campaigns focused on the development of the Sustainable Development Goals, childhood vaccines, and malaria prevention, and also served on the digital team that created the concept of #GivingTuesday. Previously, Imali interned with Booz Allen Hamilton, the ACLU of Northern California’s Organizing and Community Affairs department, and the European Union Research Center at George Washington University’s School of Business.
Imali holds a Master of Public Policy and Certificate in International Development Policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, where she focused on management and social impact. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley. Imali is a first-generation American who proudly merges her Sri Lankan heritage with her Southern California identity, and loves to spend her time traveling, cooking, and dancing.