Helani Galpaya is the 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 meaningful digital access, human rights online, changes to labor and skills in light of technology and climate change, and governance of platforms, data, and algorithms.
Helani serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Observatory on Information and Democracy, a member of the Working Group on Shared Societies of the Club de Madrid, and Advisor to the USAID & Gates Foundation’s Women in the Digital Economy Fund (WiDEF). Some of her recent past roles include being a member of the Board of Editors of the Information Technology and International Development (ITID) journal, member of the Working Group on Innovation and Commercialisation of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the UN Internet Governance Forum, and advisor to the UN Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Bridging the Gender Divide.
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) in 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.