Gihan Perera is a program officer on the Civic Engagement and Government team, leading our work on expanding democratic participation – particularly the capacity, scale, and impact of historically disadvantaged base-building organizations – to ensure that communities have greater voice and power to shape the policy decisions that impact their lives.
Since 2009, Gihan has served as the co-founder and executive director of the New Florida Majority, which seeks to increase the voting and political power of marginalized and excluded constituencies toward an inclusive equitable and just Florida—by building integrated voter engagement, policy and organizing capacity and community power. Prior to this, Gihan was executive director and co-founder of the Miami Workers’ Center, which organizes and develops conscious leadership within Miami’s working class communities for economic, gender, and racial equity. Earlier, he served as co-founder and lead organizer of the Right to the City Alliance, an alliance of more than 50 grassroots organizations, legal service providers, academics, and policy organizations in over 30 cities. Earlier in his career, he was a lead organizer in the Southern USA for UNITE (United Needle and Industrial Textile Employees) and a recruiter for the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute on the West Coast. He is particularly adept at connecting deep local work with larger national strategic framing and engagement, and can powerfully straddle these two worlds.
He has a BS in Development Studies from UC Berkeley and participated in the Rockwood Leadership Program.