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Bama Athreya

Senior Specialist, Labor and Employment Rights

Laudes Foundation



Bama Athreya has more than twenty years’ experience on international labor issues, gender and social inclusion, and business and human rights. She is currently a Fellow at Open Society Foundations and an advisor to Laudes Foundation. Most recently she worked for the US Agency for International Development as Senior Specialist for Labor, Gender and Social Inclusion, where she led the development of new guidance and internal training on gender and social inclusion, and assisted field Missions around the world to develop new programming to address labor rights, counter human trafficking and promote women’s economic empowerment. She was also one of USAID’s principal points of contact on Business and Human Rights. Previously she worked for the Solidarity Center, International Labor Rights Forum and Fontheim International and has been a consultant for the International Labour Organization. She has designed and managed multi-country projects in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia on the rights of working women, on forced and child labor, and on ethical business practices. She has developed and led multi-stakeholder initiatives with global corporations on labor compliance, and has worked and written extensively on labor and gender in US trade policy. She served as one of the founding Board members of the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium, an entity serving state and city governments in the United States who have adopted legislative or executive commitments to ethical procurement. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan.