Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, aged 42, is the Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS—a position he has held since January 2013.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, CIVICUS is the global civil society alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world.

CIVICUS seeks to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people. It recognises that for effective and sustainable civic participation to occur, citizens must enjoy rights of free association and be able to engage all sectors of society.

Born in Sri Lanka and a national of Australia, Danny lived and worked in the UK for 15 years before relocating to South Africa with CIVICUS. In the UK, the Rhodes Scholar was the Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, the oldest and largest Commonwealth civil society organisation.

After studying at the University of Sydney, Danny went on to complete an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford.

In 2012, he was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.Generosity_Philanthropy-NZ-Danny-S

Throughout this incredible path of academic achievement and leadership roles, Danny has become an established researcher and commentator on international migration, economic development, the political economy of conflict, and ethnic diversity.

He is the author of several books and reports, and his work has appeared in academic journals such as Contemporary South Asia, Geography, International Migration, Oxford Development Studies, Third World Quarterly and World Economics. He has conducted primary research in several countries including Fiji, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, Trinidad & Tobago, and Sri Lanka, and spoken at conferences and events in over 60 countries.

Danny will be speaking at Philanthropy New Zealand’s biennial Philanthropy Summit, which has a theme this year of Innovate for Impact.

“Faced with some pretty big global challenges—climate change, rising inequality, attacks on civic freedoms—we need some pretty big responses from philanthropy,” Danny says.

“Philanthropy can support local action and help strengthen community bonds on a range of issues, but we also need more brave philanthropy that helps citizens challenge injustice and inequality, locally and globally.”

Also speaking at the 2017 Summit are Katy Love, Wikimedia Foundation (USA); Mark Randazzo, EDGE Funders Alliance (USA); Akaya Windwood, Rockwood Leadership Institute (USA); Allan and Rachel English, English Family Foundation, (AUS); Donna Flavell, Waikato-Tainui (NZ) and many more.

The Summit, which attracts an international audience, will focus on global and local examples of innovation in philanthropy.

It will provide opportunities for attendees to learn best practice and hear success stories, first-hand, around game-changing strategies and innovative ways to maximise our impact in philanthropy.

The Summit Program includes specialised breakout sessions, and ‘pockets of change’—unique stories of innovation from global and local funders who have challenged the norm, thought outside the square and changed their world.


For more details about the event, head to the Philanthropy Summit 2017: Innovate for Impact Generosity_Philanthropy-NZwebsite. Members of Philanthropy Australia receive the Philanthropy New Zealand Member discount, a saving of $500 NZ.


Philanthropy New Zealand is a membership organisation that provides thought leadership and practical help for everyone with an interest in giving to make the world a better place.


Images courtesy Philanthropy NZ. Wellington City image credit: Dawn Dillon Anderson.