Krishanti Vignarajah Policy Director, US First Lady Michelle Obama
Ms. Vignarajah serves as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama and leads Let Girls Learn, an initiative launched by the President and First Lady to help support the millions of girls worldwide who are out of school. Before the White House, she served as Senior Advisor at the State Department under Secretary Kerry and Secretary Clinton.
In that role, Ms. Vignarajah helped shape White House and State Department initiatives and programs related to private sector investment and public-private partnerships, development strategies around health, food security and climate change, youth and religious engagement, global women’s issues, and regional issues relating to Africa and the Middle East.
Ms. Vignarajah graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College with a Master’s degree in Political Science and a B.S. in Molecular Biology. She subsequently obtained an M.Phil. in International Relations at Oxford University (Magdalen College) as a Marshall Scholar, and then worked at McKinsey & Co. before starting law school back at Yale, where she served as Features and Reviews Editor on the Yale Law Journal.
Ms. Vignarajah has received the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Prize, the Benjamin Scharps Prize, and the Joseph Parker Prize for her scholarship. Ms. Vignarajah has served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University, teaching international law and U.S. foreign policy, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.