Rohan Samarajiva

Chair

Rohan Samarajiva is founding Chair of LIRNEasia, an ICT policy and regulation think tank active across emerging Asia.  He was CEO for eight years from its inception in 2004.  His most recent co-authored book (2013) is Information lives of the poor:  Fighting poverty with technology, published in Burmese, English, French and Spanish.  He is a member of the UN Global Pulse Advisory Group on the Governance of Data and Artificial Intelligence.  He served on its predecessor, the Data Privacy Advisory Group, since 2015.

Samarajiva served as Chair of the ICT Agency, the apex body for information and communication technology within the government of Sri Lanka, in 2018-19.  He was one of its founding directors in 2003-05.

He was Team Leader at the Sri Lanka Ministry for Economic Reform, Science and Technology (2002-04) responsible for infrastructure reforms, including participation in the design of the USD 83 million e Sri Lanka Initiative.  He was Director General of Telecommunications in Sri Lanka (1998-99), Honorary Professor at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka (2003-04), Visiting Professor of Economics of Infrastructures at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (2000-03) and Associate Professor of Communication and Public Policy at the Ohio State University in the US (1987-2000).  Samarajiva was Policy Advisor to the Ministry of Post and Telecom in Bangladesh (2006-09).

He is Senior Advisor to Sarvodaya Fusion, the ICT unit of Sri Lanka’s largest community based organization, Advisor to Advocata, a Sri Lankan economic policy think tank, and Non-Resident Fellow at Carnegie India.  He is a member of the Board and former Chair of the Lanka Software Foundation.  He serves on the editorial boards of five academic journals.  He received the SLT ZeroOne Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution as a public policy maker and advocate to influence access to cost effective and high quality digital infrastructure in 2018, was recognized as an Internet Pioneer by the Sri Lanka Chapter of the Internet Society in 2015 and was presented with the “Communication Research as an Agent of Change” award by the International Communication Association in 2009.

He was a member of the intergovernmental Joint Study Group on the India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (2003) and chaired the GATS Advisory Committee of the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka (2002-2004).  Samarajiva chaired the expert workshop on fixed-mobile interconnection for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2000 and the first Digital Opportunity Forum for the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO) in 2006.

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