Dr. Harsha de Silva is currently the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Sri Lanka. Prior to this Mr. De Silva was the Deputy Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs. As the Deputy Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs, he was responsible for development of policies to introduce a social market economy to Sri Lanka. He was elected to the parliament as a member of the United National Party (UNP). Prior to joining politics, his career ranged from development banker, international consultant economist and successful entrepreneur. He is also a media personality in Sri Lanka.
In 1994, Dr. de Silva co-founded Survey and Market Research Team (SMART), and sold his stake to Nielsen in mid-2000 as Sri Lankas’ largest marketing research team with 140 employees.
At LIRNEasia, Dr. de Silva was involved in Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid (T@BOP) 1, 2 and 3 studies. This research was a unique series of cutting edge demand-side studies on ICT use among the BOP. Dr. de Silva was also instrumental in developing the research on the nexus of agriculture and ICTs at LIRNEasia. He founded a not-for-profit called Govi Gnana Seva (GGS) or Farmer Knowledge Service, which is currently the main source of wholesale agricultural market prices in Sri Lanka.