I’m a researcher, advocate, and coalition builder. I work to increase transparency and accountability of governments and corporations so that communities gain more power and can have more control over the decisions that affect them.
I’ve led successful advocacy and community campaigns, created coalitions between civil society and progressive business and new kinds of partnerships between academics and practitioners, and led international research that has influenced public policy and activist thinking.
I work with organizations and social movements to strengthen their advocacy, deepen their coalitions, and sharpen their analysis.
May possesses an extremely rare talent for traversing the distinct universes of grassroots community work, high-level policy work and academic research: transitioning between these levels of engagement with apparent ease in her own work, and also facilitating strengthened communication, dialogue and joint action between others in these spaces.
– Kate Macdonald, Melbourne University
Most recently, I was Director – Governance and Transparency at The B Team where I developed an initiative that fostered collaboration between progressive business, investors and civil society in support of greater company ownership transparency, accountability in public procurement, responsible tax practice, and respect for civic rights, working closely with B Team Leaders Dr Mo Ibrahim, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sharan Burrow, Bob Collymore and Paul Polman.
Before that, based in New York, as part of Corelab, I worked with a range of organizations, movements and research institutions to support their strategy development and research including Global Witness, Transparency International, Rhize, ODI, Malala Fund, ActionAid, Beespace, UNICEF and Corporate Accountability Research.
Previously, I was the inaugural Research Manager for Oxfam Australia, developing their first organizational research strategy and working to support staff and partners across Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia and southern Africa to generate and use evidence and learning in new ways to inform programming and advocacy. I developed a range of new partnerships with academic and research institutions and worked to increase the ethics of the international development sector’s approach to research. In the wake of of the global economic crisis I worked with colleagues across Oxfam International to lead a twelve country empirical study into the human impacts of the crisis that were used to inform programming and engage with governments and international institutions to influence their responses.
May is a dedicated professional–excellent at research, people-skills but also management. She is one of the most talented people I worked with at Oxfam. I would hire her anyday.
– Celine Charveriat, Executive Director, Institute for European Environmental Policy
You can read about examples of my research, advocacy and convening work throughout this site and check out my past publications. I have an BA (First Class Honors – Politics and International Relations) and an LLB from the University of New South Wales and an LLM (Legal Theory) from New York University.
You can also find me travelling, hiking, attempting to turn wood, and having a drink with fine folk. I even set up a group for women working on global justice around the world to get drinks together – Internationalistas – with my partner in crime, Chloe Safier. If you think you are one, you should join us on Facebook.
I serve as a civil society member of the Australian Open Government Forum.
I’m currently based in New Zealand. I work with organisations, coalitions and movements in three main ways.
You can get in touch with me at may[AT]maymillerdawkins.com.