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Amali Tower          

Climate Displacement, Migration & Refugee Expert; Founder of Climate Refugees

Amali Tower (she/her) has extensive global experience in refugee protection, refugee resettlement and in forced migration and displacement contexts, having worked globally for numerous NGOs, the UN Refugee Agency and the US Refugee Admissions Program. Years of interviewing refugees fleeing conflict afforded her the chance to hear their stories of also fleeing climate change. Through this, Climate Refugees was born. She has conducted country and regional case studies and research in climate-induced displacement contexts, including in urban and camp settings. Her research on climate, conflict and displacement in the Lake Chad Basin in Africa’s Sahel was presented as evidence of loss and damage at COP 26 in Glasgow.

She is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network in Migration, Human Rights & Humanitarian Response, the UC Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law (climate refugees and immigrant justice working group). She sits on the advisory board of The Center for Climate and Security in Washington D.C. In 2023, she spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative (CG) on "Forced Migration and Climate Change," in a fireside chat with David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former UK Foreign Secretary. Tower's work, filming on location in Morocco on desertification and displacement, is also featured in an episode of PBS's "Evolution Earth."

From being asked to respond to Afghan evacuations to overseeing UNHCR operations for Syrian resettlement to the United States, Tower is frequently consulted for her expertise, including in rapid deployments, humanitarian and high-profile contexts. She also consults in areas of human rights, campaigning, advocacy, legislation and public policy. Tower serves displaced populations as an experienced defender and her clients as a partner and advisor. She developed her work ethic, world views and deep commitment to forcibly displaced populations through a lived experience of instability, and as an immigrant and migrant. She’s born of that education, life in multiple countries, and also those at Columbia University, where she has a Master of International Affairs focused in Human Rights from the School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in International Development Studies from UCLA. She resides in New York City.

Speech Topics

International and Humanitarian Affairs

  • Peace & Security
  • UN Affairs

Environmental Justice

  • Environmental Racism
  • Human Rights
  • Climate Justice

Refugee Protection and Resettlement

  • Border Policy
  • Asylum
  • Human Security
  • Immigration

Climate Migration and Displacement

  • Climate Change
  • Forced Displacement


Q&A: Amali Tower on Climate Migration and 'Evolution Earth'
Amali Tower, founder of Climate Refugees, a non-profit organization dedicated to tackling the worsening climate refugee crisis through their research and advocacy.
Watch Amali Tower on PBS new Climate Change Series, "Evolution Earth"
Travel to the hottest and driest extremes to see animals go to extraordinary lengths to survive. From the Sahara Desert to Australia, animals provide new clues about our changing planet and what it will mean for the future of our heating world.
Climate exodus: The unfolding crisis of climate displacement
Around the world, climate change-induced extreme weather events and environmental changes are driving more and more people to flee their homes. However climate refugees remain invisible in international frameworks that protect other displaced people.
Clinton Global Initiative: Fireside Chat with Amali Tower
Forced migration and climate change: how we can empower communities to cope with climate-induced displacement.
Migrant workers toil in perilous heat to prepare for Cop28 climate talks in UAE
“The story of migrant workers in the Gulf region is a story of climate injustice,” said Amali Tower, executive director of the non-profit Climate Refugees.
Amali Tower: What Climate Justice Takes
“Crisis isn’t triggered the minute somebody crosses a border; it’s triggered because it’s happening to them right now.”
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Fighting for the Climate Diaspora
Amali Tower MIA ’09 is building expertise on how the greatest threat to human existence is already uprooting human lives.
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