Lyric Thompson

Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy

Lyric Thompson is the Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this capacity, she leads the institution’s formulation of evidence-based policy recommendations and oversees ICRW’s advocacy efforts with the U.S. Government and internationally. She is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University, where she teaches a graduate level course on women’s rights advocacy.

Lyric is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Advisory Committee on Advancing Gender Equality in Foreign Affairs and a member of the Civil Society Strategic Planning and Leadership Group for the Global Forum for Gender Equality that will be convened by UN Women, France and Mexico in early 2021 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In August of 2019, Lyric was nominated by Governor Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Council for Women; she is also on the board of the advocacy organization North Carolina Women United.

In Washington, Lyric leads or is a member of a number of advocacy coalitions on women’s rights issues, including the Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States, Girls Not Brides USA, the Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality, the Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence Globally, the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls. She is on the Editorial Board of Apolitical and writes regularly on gender and foreign policy for such outlets as Foreign Policy, Devex, Ms. Magazine, The Hill, Thomson-Reuters Foundation and openDemocracy. She has media experience in television, print and radio news, including Voice of America, Al Jazeera and The New York Times.

Lyric brings more than ten years of experience in global gender and development issues, including women, peace and security; women’s economic empowerment; violence against women; child marriage and adolescent girls’ issues. She has advocated for gender-equitable policies at the United Nations, the World Bank, the White House, State Department, Department of Defense, USAID and on Capitol Hill. Her ICRW field work includes building the advocacy capacity of youth activists throughout the Commonwealth and of women’s rights advocates in Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as mobilizing a wide variety of stakeholders to achieve gender-responsive, urban development in slum communities of Mumbai, India.

Previously, Lyric served for five years as a primary expert and strategist for Amnesty International USA’s women’s human rights program, as senior policy manager at Women for Women International and as a project manager for overseas development contracts at DAI.

In both 2018 and 2019, Lyric was named as one of the Gender Equality Top 100 by the public policy platform Apolitical. In 2016, Lyric was honored by Professional Women in Advocacy for Excellence in a Campaign for Women Serving Women, recognizing her leadership advocating with the U.S. government for the world’s first piece of foreign policy dedicated to the rights and empowerment of adolescent girls. In 2011, Diplomatic Courier Magazine named her among the Top 99 Under 33 Young Professionals Impacting Foreign Policy.

Contact Lyric at lthompson@icrw.org and follow her on Twitter: @lyricthompson.


Education: Lyric is a Phi Beta Kappa alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate of the Bard College Program on Globalization and International Affairs.
Languages: English (native); Spanish (proficient)
Adolescents and Youth, Advocacy, Child Marriage, Economic Empowerment, Feminist Foreign Policy, Violence Against Women and Girls

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