Board of Directors

Prof. Gamini Keerawella

Executive Director

Professor Gamini Keerawella joined Regional Center for Strategic Studies (RCSS) in the capacity of its Executive Director on November 16th, 2017.  Prior to that he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and later the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Sri Lanka, Washington D.C., USA (October 2015 to November 2017). He is an internationally renowned scholar, the former Head and Professor in Modern History at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka who retired from the University in 2015 after 40 years of service. He also worked as the Secretary, Ministry of Ethnic Affairs and National Integration and Mineral Resources Development (2001-2002), the Founder Director of the National Integration Unit (1997-2000) and Advisor to the President on Ethnic Affairs (2002-2005). 

He earned his M.A. in 1992 and Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Windsor and from the University of British Columbia, Canada respectively. His doctoral thesis was on ‘The Superpower Naval Rivalry the Indian Ocean’. Prof. Gamini Keerawella was a recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships: Fulbright Scholar-in-Resident Professorship tenable in the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, USA (2013-2014), Japan Foundation Fellowship at the Institute of Developing Economies in Tokyo, Japan (2003-04), Scholar-in-Residence, Centre for Theory, Baroda, India (2007), Senior Fulbright Fellowship tenable at the University of California-Berkeley, USA (1991-93), Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, Perth (1991). 
He has over 40 publications to his credit. His area of research includes peace and security in the Indian Ocean, regional security architecture and cooperation in South Asia, identity politics and post-colonial State formation in Sri Lanka. The University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka honored Professor Gamini Keerawella in 2016 with bestowing on him the Emeritus Professorship.

Prof. Amal Jayawardane


Professor Amal Jayawardane is Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Colombo, and presently he serves as Senior Professor at the Faculty of Defence and Strategic Studies, Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. Previously he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and the Head of the Department of International Relations, University of Colombo. He was also the sixth Executive Director of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) in January, 2009. Formerly, he was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts (2006-2008) and the Head of the Department of History & International Relations (2001-2006), University of Colombo. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the School of International Service, the American University, Washington D.C., and Research Scholar at the Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science.

He has also functioned as a Consultant to the National Integration Programme Unit (NIPU) of the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs and National Integration; member of the Coordinating Committee, Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR), University of Colombo; Co-Director, Centre for Policy Studies and Research (CEPRA), University of Colombo; Member of the Board of Directors, Institute of International Studies (IIS), Kandy; Member, Board of Management, Bandaranaike Centre For International Studies (BCIS) and the Sri Lanka Institute of International Relations (SLIIR). During the period 1994-1997, he served as a Member of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry in respect of Involuntary Removal and Disappearances of Persons. He specializes in Politics in South Asia; Foreign Policy Studies; Human Rights and Peace Studies.

Dr. Ranee Jayamaha


Dr. Ranee Jayamaha is currently the Lead Consultant-South Asia to The World Bank Group; Member of the Council of the University of Colombo; Member of the Board of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Virtual Centre and Staff Development Centre-University of Colombo and; Director of Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC and Mireka Capital Land (pvt) Ltd. Dr. Jayamaha has more than 45 years of extensive national and international experience in Banking and Finance, Payment and Settlement Systems, including E-money Deployment, and Bank Supervision and Regulation. She had been a distinguished career Central Banker for nearly 38 years at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) while serving several national and international assignments on secondment. During her tenure at the Central Bank, on release, she had served as the Secretary to the Presidential Commission on Finance and Banking, Advisor to the Ministry of Finance, and Special Advisor (Economic) at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, UK. In addition to her tasks at the Central Bank, she has been an Advisor on Payment Systems to the Central Banks of Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Iran, Eastern Caribbean Countries and the Maldives; a member of the Global Payments Group of the World Bank; Advisor to G-8 Remittance Group; and Member of the BIS General Payment System Guidelines Committee. She retired in 2009 as the Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Stability of the CBSL.

Dr Jayamaha serves as an international resource person at the South East Asian Central Bank Training Centre ( SEACEN – Malaysia), George Washington University, USA , Asia and Pacific Centre ( UNI-PRO Singapore) and De La Rue Plc, UK. Dr Jayamaha has been a Presidential Advisor on Banking during 2009-2015 and has been the Chairperson of the Hatton National Bank for 4 years. She has more than 30 national and international publications to her credit. In 2014, Dr Jayamaha authored “The Money Pipeline- a Pillar of Financial Stability”, the first Book written on Payments Systems in Sri Lanka. She holds a Ph.D. in Monetary Economics from the University of Bradford, UK and is Doctor of the University of Stirling, UK. She earned her BA (Hons) in Money and Banking from University of Ceylon, Peradeniya and M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Stirling, UK.

Mr. Dilip Kodikara


Mr. Dilip Mohanlal Kodikara is a graduate Mechanical Engineer from the State University of Florida at Miami, USA. Having completed his Bachelor of Engineering in 1990 he returned to Sri Lanka and established Dutch Lanka Trailer Manufacturers (DLT) in 1992. DLT is a heavy engineering company manufacturing transport equipment for the global market.  He was the founding Chairman and Managing Director of DLT until it was sold to TRF, a Tata subsidiary in 2009.  DLT, under the Chairmanship of Dilip Kodikara established and operated many subsidiaries and joint ventures including the Joint Venture Tata International DLT in India, Dutch Lanka Trailers Oman in Salalah, Oman and Dutch Lanka Engineering in Sri Lanka. He is also a founding Director of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), a non-profit NGO based in Sri Lanka, involved in research on strategic issues in South Asia since 1992. He is currently the Managing Director of Kassapa Leisure Limited (KLL) a start-up company in the tourism industry.

Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza


Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza is Founder and President of Mantraya, an independent research forum. She is also a Member of Research & Advisory Committee, Naval War College, Goa; Editorial board member of Small Wars & Insurgencies (Routledge); Associate editor for the Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs (Sage); Expert and Contributor to the Middle East-Asia Project (MAP) at the Middle East Institute, Washington D.C.; Senior analyst for the South Asia desk with the Wikistrat Analytic Community; and Advisor for Independent Conflict Research and Analysis in London. She has worked with governmental and non-governmental sectors for more than a decade. Dr. D’Souza has previously held positions at Murdoch University, Australia; the National University of Singapore; Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses; and was a Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Research Associate at South Asia Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C.. Her research interests and expertise include:  Countering terrorism, insurgencies and violent extremism; Asymmetric and emerging security threats; Armed conflicts, organized crime and counter-terror financing; Women, peace and conflict; State and Peace building in fragile states; Security Sector Reform; Sub-national governance and downward accountability; International interventions, Aid delivery and Post conflict stabilization; Non-traditional security threats in Asia; Conflict Resolution; Organizational restructuring, public-private partnerships, Strategic Communications; Identity Politics in Asia; India’s foreign, aid, maritime and security policy; Regionalism, Regional organisations and Prospects for Regional Cooperation in South and South East Asia.

Among her most recent published work is an edited book titled “Afghanistan in Transition: Beyond 2014?”, co-edited books, “Perspectives on South Asian Security” and “Saving Afghanistan”.

Prof. Rasul Bakhsh Rais


Prof. Rasul Bakhsh Rais is Professor of Political Science in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore since 2002. He took time off from LUMS and served at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad from August 2013 to December 2014. Prof. Rais has Ph.D. in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining LUMS, he remained associated with the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad for nearly 22 years as Professor/Director, Area Study Centre and prior to that as Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations.  He was Quaid-i-Azam Distinguished Professor of Pakistan Studies at Columbia University, New York for 3 years(1991-94).  He took Fulbright fellowship at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem (1997-98), Social Science Research Fellowship at Harvard, 1989-90, Rockefeller Foundation fellowship in International Relations at the University of California, Berkeley (1985-85).  He is author of Recovering the Frontier State: War, Ethnicity and State in Afghanistan (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2008), War Without Winners: Afghanistan’s Uncertain Transition after the Cold War (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1996), Indian Ocean and the Superpowers: Economic, Political and Strategic Perspectives (London: Croom Helm, 1986), editor of State, Society and Democratic Change in Pakistan (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1997) and with Charles H. Kennedy, Pakistan 1995 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1996).  He has published widely in professional journals on political and security issues pertaining to South Asia, Indian Ocean and Afghanistan. His current research interests are: Modernism, State and Challenge of Radical Islam in Pakistan.

Deshamanya Mr. M.D.D Pieris


Deshamanya Mr. M. D. D. Pieris is a graduate of the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya); Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, UK and has been conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the University of Colombo and the title of Honorary Senior Fellow by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine.
His career was in the then Ceylon Civil Service, and later, on the abolition of that service, in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. He had a distinguished career in the public service and held several important posts, including that of Secretary to the Prime Minister; Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Home Affairs; Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Co-operatives; Secretary, Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Chairman and Director General of Broadcasting. He has also acted on several occasions in addition to his duties, in the posts of Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs and Secretary to the Ministry of Trade and Shipping. He has at various times been the Chairman of the National Institute of Education; Chairman – Board of Management of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration; and Chairman of the Agrarian Research and Training Institute. He has also served on the Governing Councils or Boards of Management of several Universities and Postgraduate Institutes, including the council of the University of Colombo, the Board of management of the Post Graduate Institute of medicine; the University of Colombo School of Computing; The Council of the Buddhist and Pali University; The Board of management of the Arthur Clarke centre of the University of Moratuwa; and the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology of the University of Kelaniya. He has been a Director of the Peoples’ Bank, the People’s Merchant Bank and a member of the Rural Credit Advisory Committee of the Central Bank. He has served as a member of the National Salaries Commission and as a member of the Presidential Commission on Finance and Banking. Currently, he serves as Deputy Chairman – Mercantile Merchant Bank Ltd., is Chairman of the Board of Management of the Institute of Information Technology; on the Board of Directors of L.O.L.C.; the Governing Board of the Regional Center for Strategic studies; on the Board of Management of the Institute of Indigenous medicine of the university of Colombo; and on the Board of Management of the U.C.S.C.

He is also a member of the Academic Affairs Board for Post Graduates Studies of the Sri lanka Institute of Development Administration  (S.L.I.D.A.) Desamanya Pieris also lectures from time to time on invitation, at S.L.I.D.A.; the Defence Services command and Staff College at Sapugaskanda; and the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute. He has delivered four convocation addresses at the universities of Colombo; Sri Jayawardanapura; Ruhuna; and the Open university. He has, also on invitation delivered three Memorial Orations: – the Lalith Athulathmudali Memorial Oration; the Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam Memorial Oration; and the Vidyajothi Professor V. K. Samaranayake Memorial Oration. He has been conferred the high National honor of DESAMANYA for “Distinguished Service of a highly meritorious nature to the nation”.