Na’ilah Amaru is a policy advocate and campaign architect with an established 20-year record of social impact in both government and non-profit sectors. She is a fierce champion for building grassroots governing power among underserved populations with a focus on women and Black and brown communities.
As the inaugural director of policy and campaigns at the Human Services Council, Na’ilah leads the design and execution of the human services sector’s organizing infrastructure and collaborates with City and State lawmakers to advance non-profit legislative priorities.
Previously, Na’ilah commanded key roles within direct service and advocacy non-profits, served as policy advisor to former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, legislative aide to U.S. Congressman John Lewis, executive director of the New York City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, and has spearheaded winning electoral and issue campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. Her interdisciplinary work portfolio reflects her deep commitment to driving public policy addressing the needs of diverse constituencies from local neighborhoods to the corridors of Capitol Hill.
Na’ilah’s advocacy impact has been nationally recognized as she has received various awards, was selected to nominate Hillary Clinton for president on behalf of the Democratic Party at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and is a regular contributor to the award-winning podcast and blog “Brown Girls Guide to Politics.”
In addition to her civic leadership, Na’ilah is a distinguished U.S. Army veteran and ammunition specialist. She was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for exemplary service during her tour in Iraq and was the first woman and lowest-ranking soldier to win a highly coveted military competition.
Na’ilah holds three master’s degrees in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from The University of Texas at San Antonio, in Public Policy and Non-Profit Management from Georgia State University, and in Urban Affairs and Urban Planning from New York City’s Hunter College. She earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice from The University of Texas at San Antonio.