As an immigrant, issues of race, equity, and inclusion have always been central to my lived experience and values. As an environmental engineer and policy analyst, I feel grateful to align my convictions with my experience and to lead ERG’s environmental and climate justice solutions practice.
Shanika Amarakoon has over 20 years’ experience as an environmental engineer and policy analyst for federal and state agencies. She excels at leading analyses related to climate change, renewable energy, environmental and climate justice, sustainability, life cycle assessment, stakeholder engagement, grant support, and program evaluation.
To all her work, she brings a keen analytic mind coupled with empathy and a passion for justice. She has served on panels and advisory committees alongside leaders from the NAACP, tribal communities, and the Black Lives Matter movement to advise on race and equity at the intersection of the environment and policy. She has also facilitated virtual and in-person meetings and supported stakeholder engagement and the development of outreach products. This work has included engagement of communities with environmental justice concerns related to climate and clean transportation. She also led the facilitation of national feedback sessions related to several Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant programs. Her life cycle assessment study of climate change and other impacts from lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles was awarded a Bronze Medal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and her studies have been presented at the American Association of Life Cycle Assessment, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Argonne National Laboratory. She was also featured in Episode Four of Rational Middle’s Net Zero documentary series, “A Just Transition.”
Shanika holds a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Bucknell University and a Master of Engineering Management from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Outside work, she is active in local and national politics and was chosen as a 2020 party delegate for her home state. She also enjoys spending time with her family, running, and reading autobiographies.