Shanika Amarakoon

Shanika Amarakoon

Senior Environmental Engineer

My lived experience as an immigrant raised in a rural community showed me the importance of engaging disparate voices in developing sustainable solutions to address our most pressing environmental challenges. Now, as an environmental engineer and policy analyst, I am grateful that I can apply my experience to support a broad range of meaningful work, including advancing a circular economy, supporting a just transition, and leading ERG’s environmental and climate justice solutions practice.

Shanika Amarakoon has over 24 years’ experience as an environmental engineer and policy analyst for federal and state agencies. She excels at leading analyses related to climate change, circular economy, renewable energy, environmental and climate justice, stakeholder engagement, life cycle assessment, grant support, and program evaluation. Shanika leads ERG’s climate and environmental justice practice. As part of this work, she supports analysis and outreach with low-income and under-resourced communities to address inequities in a broad range of areas, including brownfields redevelopment, climate impacts, renewable energy, and clean transportation. She was featured in Episode 4 of Rational Middle’s Net Zero documentary series, “A Just Transition.”

Shanika also serves as project manager on multiple projects related to advancing a circular economy. For example, she has supported EPA’s Circular Economy Strategy series, including development and implementation of the National Recycling Strategy. She also supports circular economy and policy analyses related to specific products, including batteries, plastics, and food and organic products. Shanika served as lead facilitator for national feedback sessions related to several Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant programs, including the Solid Waste Recycling Infrastructure and Recycling and Education Outreach 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 she has presented her work at the American Association of Life Cycle Assessment, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Argonne National Laboratory.

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.