Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Long Beach, CA, Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer and an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer. She is the author of The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock and Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, Vogue, CNN, McSweeney’s, and Glamour, among others.
With the artist Laurie Anderson and the producer Laura Michalchyshyn, she is a co-founder of The Federation: a coalition of artists, organizations, and allies committed to keeping cultural borders open and showing how art unites us. She is also a board member and advisor of For Freedoms, an organization that catalyzes civic discourse through the arts.
As a producer, Selvaratnam has most recently collaborated with Glamour Women of the Year, Planned Parenthood, Aubin Pictures, and The Vision & Justice Project (Harvard University). She has also produced work by Gabri Christa, Lisa Cortés, Liz Garbus, Catherine Gund, Le Tigre and Laura Parnes, Tiffany Shlain, Mickalene Thomas, Lucy Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Jed Weintrob, among others. Her films have played on HBO, IFC, PBS, Starz, and the Sundance Channel; and have premiered at the Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, and SXSW festivals.
Selvaratnam has been featured and cited in publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, CNN, and NBC News. She has been a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, WNYC, KCRW, Sirius XM, and CBS Radio News. She has participated in panels and conferences around the world, including various United Nations and World Health Organization events as well as the Aspen Ideas Festival, Skoll World Forum, and Sundance Film Festival. She has spoken on a variety of subjects, including the rights and safety of women and children, and the interplay of art and democracy.
Selvaratnam received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University. She is based in New York City and Portland, Oregon.