Helani Galpaya is CEO of LIRNEasia, a pro-poor, pro-market think tank working on digital and other infrastructure policy issues across the emerging Asia Pacific. She researches and engages in public discourse on topics related to platform, data and algorithmic governance, digital access, human rights online and internet governance. She also studies and speaks on how knowledge and information disseminated via ICTs can improve inclusiveness of SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) in global agriculture value chains, and how labor is changing due to digitisation and entry of digital platforms that reduce transaction costs. She has led nationally representative surveys of internet use by households and individuals in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal. She has also researched how experiences and perceptions of harassment, surveillance and privacy impact the way men and women differentially experience the internet, and how online identity helps or hinders their digital and political participation
Helani serves on the Board of Editors of the Information Technology and International Development (ITID) journal, is on the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), and a member of the Working Group on Innovation and Commercialisation of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI). She is a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the UN Internet Governance Forum, the Advisory Board of the Harnessing and Sharing Economy for Local Development initiative of the Centre for Implementation of Public Policies promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC), Argentina, an Advisor to the UN Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Bridging the Gender Divide, a member of the Steering Committee of the International Observatory on Information and Democracy, and a member of the Working Group on Shared Societies of the Club de Madrid.
Helani previously worked at the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka implementing the World Bank’s e-Sri Lanka initiative. Prior to that she was a management consultant at Booz&Co (formerly Booz Allen Hamilton), New York, and worked at Citibank and Merrill Lynch in New York and Miami. She has an MSc in Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA and a BA (Cum Laude) in Computer Science from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA.