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Maria Lya Ramos

Associate Director, Extractive Industries Global Program, Oxfam

Maria Lya Ramos is associate director of Oxfam’s global extractive industries program, which operates in 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. She is a life-long human rights activist who has spent decades championing environmental and economic justice.

At Oxfam, she provides strategic leadership on programs in partnership with frontline communities and organizations who are defending human rights and advocating for greater transparency and accountability of the oil, gas, and mining sector.  She has held positions with the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA), Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and Greenpeace, among others, supporting campaigns across Africa and Latin America.

Maria has supported oil sector governance reform in Angola and directed a campaign to hold Chevron to account for its oil pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She led advocacy efforts to protect Indigenous peoples’ rights and territories in Peru and has worked alongside mining affected communities in Guatemala seeking redress for human rights abuses. Maria has also trained students across the US on corporate campaigning for environmental justice.

Maria has authored A Legacy of Harm: Occidental Petroleum in Indigenous Territory in the Peruvian Amazon for Amazon Watch and Angola’s Oil Industry Operations for OSISA. Maria received her MA in international development from The George Washington University. She currently serves on the board of Digital Democracy, which builds decentralized technology with Indigenous partners, and on the global council of Publish What You Pay.