Robin Aura Kanegis serves as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), providing strategic direction for all aspects of the organization’s engagement with the federal government.
Prior to joining AFSC, she served as Director of Campaigns and Iraq Peace Campaign Director for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a Quaker lobby in the public interest that partners closely with AFSC on legislative concerns.
Aura previously worked for over a decade on issues impacting Native American communities, serving the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) first as Deputy Director for Governmental Affairs and subsequently as Director of Operations and Programs, providing lead oversight and coordination for the oldest, largest, and most representative organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and individuals. Later she served as Director of Communications and Development for the First Nations Development Institute, working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own, and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. Aura served as Legislative Specialist on a range of client concerns with the Indian law practice of Hobbs, Straus, Dean and Walker, LLP after coordinating the FCNL Native American Program and chairing the Native American Working Group of the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community during the mid-1990s.
Aura has served on the Executive Board of FCNL as Assistant Treasurer, and is a past Executive Committee member of the American Friends Service Committee’s Mid-Atlantic Region.
She holds a B.A. in Third World Studies and Women’s Studies from Oberlin College and an I.B. from the Armand Hammer United World College. She is the lead vocalist of Brûlée, a jazz-blues band performing in the Washington area.
In 1947, AFSC was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for our work “…from the nameless to the nameless….” on behalf of all Quakers.