Janani Vivekananda headshot

Janani Vivekananda

Senior Fellow (Non-Resident)

MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development, School of Oriental and African Studies
BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, University of Oxford

Janani Vivekananda is a Senior Fellow (Non-Resident) at United Nations University Centre for Policy Research and serves as the Head of Programme, Climate Diplomacy and Security at Adelphi, Berlin.

Janani Vivekananda's work involves leading participatory field research on community-level resilience to conflict and climate change, developing conflict-sensitive approaches to climate change risks, and increasing the capacity of governments and civil society to integrate climate and conflict risk into policies and field projects.

Janani’s current role at adelphi involves leading the multilateral climate security risk and foresight assessment, Weathering Risk. She is the lead author of the 2019 climate security risk assessment of Lake Chad, Shoring up Stability, and the 2015 flagship G7 report “A New Climate for Peace“, dealing with climate change impacts on fragile states.

Janani has over fifteen years of experience on climate change, peace, and security across different geographic regions in Africa (Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Kenya, and Rwanda in particular), South Asia (Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh) and Europe, working with governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society. She has published widely on this topic, including in Nature, and regularly provides commentary to a broad range of global media outlets, including the Economist, the Guardian, the Times, Liberation, der Spiegel, Euronews and BBC World Service.

Before joining adelphi, Janani was the Head of the Environment, Climate Change and Security at International Alert. Prior to this, she was the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) advisor at Plan International, where she supported headquarters and regional programmes on DRR issues, specifically in fragile states. Janani has also worked with UNDP based in Nepal as a regional conflict advisor for the South Asia region.

Janani holds a Master’s degree in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.

Janani is a British-Sri Lankan, based in Berlin, Germany.

Research Interests

  • Climate-related risk

  • Conflict resolution

  • Food security

  • Peace and security

  • Peacebuilding