Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer and an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer, currently collaborating with The Shed, Planned Parenthood, Aubin Pictures, and GLAMOUR Women of the Year. She is also a team member of the 50 State Initiative/For Freedoms and a Co-Founder of The Federation.
Selvaratnam is the author of THE BIG LIE: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock; and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, CNN, McSweeney’s, Artsy, HowlRound, Bust, and Huffington Post. Selvaratnam has participated in panels and conferences around the world, from Kobe, Japan to Abu Dhabi to Hanover, Germany to Los Angeles, California. She has spoken on a variety of subjects, including public health policies regarding women, humanitarian relief work, and the future of theater.
Selvaratnam’s career in the arts and social justice began with her work assisting Anna Deavere Smith on the development of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 about the human toll of the L.A. riots, and with her position as a youth organizer on the steering committee of the NGO Forum/Fourth World Conference on Women in China. In addition, she was the Special Projects Coordinator of the Ms. Foundation and an organizer and researcher for the World Health Organization’s Kobe Conference on Women and Tobacco.
She has served on the boards of the Third Wave Fund, Boom Arts, The Wooster Group, and Groundswell Community Mural Project; and is an advisor to The DO School, a Germany-based and internationally focused creative educational organization that offers learning experiences to generate global impact. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Chinese language and legal history from Harvard University. Born in Sri Lanka and raised in
Long Beach, CA, Selvaratnam is based in New York City and Portland, Oregon.