Our People


We aim to build a virtual organization that will one day make working from Bhutan as easy as working from this office. We will work in teams; we will work flexibly and we will work effectively. The organization centered on this office will help each person work to their full capacity; it will be a learning organization; a place where creativity is valued and debate encouraged. It will not be a place to clock in and out from; to engage in office intrigue; or to worry about the next promotion. It will add to your productivity, not drain it.” – Rohan, LIRNEasia office opening in 2004

LIRNEasia started off with two full-time staff and an executive director. We were housed in a 15x20ft office under the shade of an ancient Suriya mara (Albizia odoratissima) tree at the back of the parking lot at SLIDA (Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration).

Neither our size nor our location limited our possibilities in any way.

Today, we are a family of over 40 people who are an integral part of the work of this organization. Fifteen people, whom we call “staff” work out of our Colombo office on a full or part-time basis. More than 30 others work as external researchers and consultants from different parts of the globe. The Scientific Advisory Councils provide strategic guidance for our research projects.

With a small administrative core, much of our work is facilitated through extended networks across the Asia Pacific. The value of this is parallel to that of networks according to Metcalfe’s law: the total value of a network is greater than the sum of the number of its users.

Rohan Samarajiva

Chairman, Board of Directors

Helani Galpaya

Chief Executive Officer

Nilusha Kapugama

Chief Operating Officer

Abu Saeed Khan

Senior Policy Fellow

Anah Cassim

Research Intern

Ashwini Natesan

Research Fellow

Ayesha Zainudeen

Senior Research Manager

Ayumi Arai

Research Fellow

Babu Ram Aryal

Policy Fellow

Chanuka Algama

Junior Researcher

Chiranthi Rajapakse

Research Manager

Christoph Stork

Senior Research Fellow

Danaja Maldeniya

Research Fellow

Dilshan Fernando

Research Fellow

Erwin Alampay

Senior Research Fellow

Gabriel Kreindler

Research Fellow

Gayani Hurulle

Senior Research Manager

Harsha de Silva

Senior Policy Fellow

Isuru Samaratunga

Research Manager

Isuruni Fernando

Research Manager and Statistician

Kasun Amarasinghe

Research Fellow

Lasantha Fernando

Research Fellow

Merl Chandana

Research Manager and Team Lead: Data, Algorithms, and Policy

Muhammad Aslam Hayat

Senior Policy Fellow

Nipuni Habaragamuwa

Junior Researcher

Nisansa de Silva

Research Fellow

Nuwan Waidyanatha

Senior Research Fellow

Payal Malik

Senior Research Fellow

Pirongrong Ramasoota

Senior Research Fellow

Piyumi Fonseka

Communication Manager

Prashanthi Weragoda

Senior Manager, Finance

Rajat Kathuria

Senior Research Fellow

Sabina Fernando

Senior Research Fellow

Shazna Zuhyle

Research Fellow

Shenali Bamaramannage

Junior Researcher

Srimantha Katukurunda

Manager: Operations and General Administration

Sujata Gamage

Senior Research Fellow

Tahani Iqbal

Policy Fellow

Tharaka Amarasinghe

Project Manager - Statistician

Vigneswara Ilavarasan

Senior Research Fellow

Yatanar Htun

Policy Fellow

Yuhei Miyauchi

Research Fellow

Alumni