Board of Trustees

/Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees comprises of distinguished individuals hailing from the various communities that make up Sri Lanka’s diverse socio-cultural fabric, all of whom are united by a common commitment to justice, peace and human rights. Between them, they have a wealth of experience and relevant expertise in the areas of law, human rights, constitutionalism, peacebuilding, social science research, investment banking and financial services from the not-for profit as well as the private and public sectors.


Serving in an honorary capacity, the role of the Trustees is to provide strategic direction to the Trust and to lay the policy framework within which the organization functions. The policy framework relates to governance, grant-making, finance and investments and the overall operations of the secretariat. With the leadership provided by the Chairperson, the Trustees carry out these functions through the Programme and Finance Sub-Committees which consists of members of the Board with the relevant expertise and senior members of the Management Team who report to the relevant sub-committees as ex-officio members.
The Board of Trustees collectively nominates a fellow-Trustee, to take up the role of Chairperson of the Board. Since NTT’s inception the following members served in this capacity;

Ms. Ambika Satkunanathan (July 2012 – to date)

Sithie Tiruchelvam (Jan 2006 – June 2012)

T. Someswaran Founder chairman – (May 2000 – Dec 2005)

The Board of Trustees

Ms. Ambika Satkunanathan (Chairperson -effective July 2012)

A researcher and activist based in Sri Lanka, Ambika functioned as the Legal Consultant to the Office of the UN-Resident Coordinator in Colombo from February 1998 to March 2014. Her research was focused on transitional justice, militarization, gender and Tamil nationalism. Her forthcoming publications include contributions to the Oxford Handbook of Gender & Conflict, the Routledge Handbook on Human Rights in South Asia, and Contemporary South Asia. She is an Advisory Board Member of the Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaloa in the Eastern Province. Ambika holds a Master of Laws (Human Rights) degree from the University of Nottingham, where she was a Chevening Scholar 2001-2, and has earned bachelor’s degrees (LL.B / B.A) from Monash University, Australia.

Mr. Channa de Silva

Channa currently serves as the Managing Director of George Steuart Finance PLC and as a Director of Pan Asia Bank and Deshodaya Development Finance Co. Ltd. He previously served for more than 5 years as the Director General / CEO of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka. Prior to this he served as the Executive Director of the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka.

Channa holds postgraduate degrees from Harvard University and the University of Melbourne (MBA) together with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colombo. He is an Edward S Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management at Harvard University and has served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA – UK) and Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA – UK). He serves in the Alumni Board of the University of Colombo and the ACCA and CISI Council in Sri Lanka

Ms. Shehara De Silva

Shehara is an International Marketing and Communications expert who has been behind the success of several local and multinational brands. She is currently Vice President, Marketing and Strategy of Emojot, which is a  Silicon Valley Technology startup. She was previously Group Head of Strategy of several Omnicom companies and Managing Director of Interbrand KL, the worlds largest brand consultancy. She has also consulted for organizations in the development sector including ILO, USAID and PLAN. She is on the Board of Keells Foods, The Environment Foundation, & the Music Project.

Ms. Rohana Jayaratne

Rohana is an Economist with experience in project appraisal and monitoring of private sector projects with the Development Finance Corporation of Sri Lanka and of public sector projects with the United Nations Development Programme in Colombo. She has volunteered with Shanti, a community animation movement, Sarvodaya Women’s Movement and Mithuruwela, an organization working with patients of cancer. She initiated a personalized donor-patient support program with the intention of not only creating greater public sensitivity to and awareness of the subject, but also to highlight how it aggravates poverty and social injustice and the need for individual and collective social responsibility to address it.

Ms. Jeanne Samuel

Over the past 30 years Jeanne has worked in the field of humanitarian aid and development in Sri Lanka and Vietnam with local and international NGOs, bilateral aid agency and the United Nations.  She has managed and directed programs and projects in varied fields. She graduated at the London South Bank University, UK in Applied Biology and has a Master’s degree in conflict, security and development from the University of Bradford, UK. She has spent her working life with the physically challenged, children, people affected by armed conflict, internally displaced persons, women headed-households in addition to community development, livelihood initiatives and building capacities of local grassroots organizations.

Mr. Mirak Raheem

Mirak serves as the Chairperson of the Programme Sub-Committee of NTT. He is a researcher and activist working on human rights, reconciliation, land, displacement and minority issues. He worked as a Senior Researcher at the Peace and Conflict Analysis Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka for 9 years, during which time he released a number of publications. He has served on a number of boards, including currently the Secretariat for Muslims. He obtained his undergraduate degree in International Relations & History from London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and a Masters Degree in Peace Studies from Notre Dame University, USA.

Dr. Pramilla Senanayake

Pramilla was, until recently, the Assistant Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a post she held for over 15 years. She is currently the Chairperson of the Concept Foundation located in Bangkok, Thailand; Founder and Chairperson of the Board of the Educate a Child Trust – a charity providing education for over 800 children and post tsunami housing for over 60 families, in Kalutara, Sri Lanka. She is also a member of the Boards of Family Health International USA and Water Aid UK.

The founding members who served on the Board since its inception in the year 2000 are

Ms. Sithie Tiruchelvam (2000 – 2012)
Mr. T. Someswaran (2000 – 2006)
Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe (2000 – 2006)
Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda (2000-2008)
Mr. Arjuna Mahendran (2000- 2006)

Prof. G.L.Pieris also served on the Board for a short period during the first year of its incorporation.