Harsha de Silva, Eisenhower Fellow

Posted on July 26, 2009  /  8 Comments

LIRNEasia’s lead economist Dr Harsha de Silva has been selected for the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship. Our warm congratulations to Harsha on this high recognition of his potential as a decisive actor in public policy. The focus on potential for future contributions is evidenced by the fact that all Eisenhower fellows have to submit a proposal of what they will do upon their return. Mr Lalith Weeratunga who was an Eisenhower Fellow from Sri Lanka some years back is now Secretary to the President. I guess the Eisenhower process works.

In addition to Harsha’s many interventions in improving the quality of public discourse in Sri Lanka through his BizFirst program and many activities as part of LIRNEasia, Harsha has engaged in many public-spirited actions, ranging from the personally funding the source collection of agricultural price information used by many government agencies and the media to his key role in the Colombo Regency Rotary Club’s web-based fund raising for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that led to the construction of a large number of houses in Kalutara. We are happy that his contributions and potential have been recognized by others.


  1. Chanuka Wattegama

    Congrats, Harsha.

    This if from The Sunday Island online today.

    Dr. Harsha de Silva picked for Eisenhower Fellowship

    Dr. Harsha de Silva, lead economist of LIRNEasia, has been selected as Sri Lanka Fellow for the Eisenhower Fellowship 2010 Multination Program.

    In a letter to de Silva, Mr. John S. Wolf of the Eisenhower Fellowship Program has said that he was chosen from among a strong group of finalists developed by a distinguished nominating committee.

    Mr. P. Sivagananathan of MAS Holdings has been selected as an alternate in case the primary nominee is unable to accept the Fellowship.

    The Eisenhower Fellowship Multination Program has over several decades chosen outstanding Sri Lankans from the public service, private business and the professions for the Fellowship that provide professional/leadership development programs to individuals who have demonstrated potential for advance eldership and positive impact in their home countries.

    The Fellowship consists of a combination of individual meetings, site visits and other activities throughout the United States as well as group activities with other Fellows.

  2. Harsha is a fundamentally good and decent man who in addition to national service is always there for friends in need. And he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Congrats

  3. Dr Somkiat Tangkitvanich, a colleague from TDRI in Thailand who has worked with us was a Fellow in 2008. He too is a very significant intervenor in public policy processes in Thailand. Good company to keep.

    Does anyone know other Eisenhower Fellows? I found Ajith Nivard Cabraal was a Fellow in 2000. A friend and a leader of the Indian disaster management community, Mihir Bhatt, had been a fellow the same year.

  4. Congratulations to Harsha, a courageous and articulate public intellectual in a country that just doesn’t have enough of them. Just look out for those little green men – and women – who are too numerous in Lanka, and stay out of their way!

  5. It’s good to see that good deeds get rewarded. I’m sure Harsha will keep inspiring many people at home and abroad. All the best!

  6. Congratulations Harsha for this well deserved reward and thanks Rohan for sharing this wonderful news with us!

    I am so happy that I got a chance to interact with Harsha briefly last Jan. With best, Prabha.


  7. thank you very much!

    rohan: previous eisenhower fellows from sri lanka, from what i know , include (besides lalith weeratunga and nivard cabraal) eran wickremeratne, paikyasorthy saravanamuttu and chandra jayaratne.

  8. A list of our Eisenhower Fellows from Sri Lanka follows (names, years of fellowship, titles and organizations):

    Rohan Abeygunasekera
    Member of Parliament, Government of Sri Lanka; Attorney-at-Law

    J. Asokade Lanerolle
    Director, Pramuka Savings and Development Bank

    Nivard Cabraal
    Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka

    Harsha de Silva
    Lead Economist, LIRNEasia

    Godfrey Gunatilleke
    Director, Sri Lanka Center for Development Studies, MARGA Institute

    H. Dayananda Gunawardena
    Mentor and Former Chairman, Prudential Holdings (Pte.)

    Chandra Jayaratne
    Managing Director, CTC Eagle Insurance Company Ltd.

    Ranepura Sumanasiri Jayaratne
    Managing Director, Resources Development Consultants, Ltd.

    Suneetha S. Jayawickrama
    Former Director, Hayleys Ltd.

    Mangala Moonesinghe
    High Commissioner to India; Former Ambassador to United Kingdom and India

    Kala Peiris de Costa
    Executive Director, Siyath Foundation

    Susie Perera de Silva
    Project Director, National HIV/AIDS Prevention Project, Sri Lanka Ministry of Health

    Nimal Samarakkody
    Chief Executive Officer, SAPCO Group of Companies

    Frank R. Samaraweera
    Retired; Former Director, Richard Pierts Exports, Ltd.

    Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
    Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives

    H. Shelton Wanasinghe
    Director, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd; Member, Board of Directors of the Centre for Policy Alternatives

    Jayasuriya Weliamuna
    Attorney-at-Law; Executive Director, Transparency International

    Eran Wickramaratne
    Chief Executive Officer and Director, NDB Bank Limited