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Emma DeSouza is a writer, political commentator, and civic leader. She is the Founder and Co-Facilitator of Northern Ireland’s Civic Initiative, a Northern Ireland advisor on peace processes and policy, and the Director of the Northern Ireland Emerging Leaders Program at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy - a new transatlantic policy program which works to advance Northern Ireland’s peace process and strengthen US-NI relations.


She effected substantial changes to UK immigration law after a five-year court case to bring legislation in line with UK commitments regarding human rights, identity and citizenship in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. As the former Leadership Coordinator of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Emma established the first All-island Women’s Forum, a new peacebuilding structure that brings women from across the island of Ireland together to work collectively in addressing women, peace, and security.


In 2023 Emma founded the Civic Initiative, a new participatory structure that brings together a wide range of civic society organisations to create a space for deliberative dialogues on advancing and supporting peace, reconciliation, and wellbeing. An accomplished journalist, Emma hosted a six-part podcast series on Northern Ireland’s Peace Process titled ‘Lost in Implementation’ and is working on her first book.


Emma lives in county Fermanagh with her husband Jake, their four dogs; Galaxy, Shadow, Rogue, and Wraith and their cat, Barney.

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