Director : Programmes
Udesh Fernando, holds an M.Sc. International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has read for a B.Sc. (Hons) International Relations from the University of London under the academic direction of the London School of Economics (LSE). He holds a Diploma in World Affairs & Diplomacy from the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute of Sri Lanka (BIDTI). His primary and high school education has been completed at the St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. He is currently the Director: Programmes at the Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning (SIHL) one of the latest Independent Units of the Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya (Inc.), the largest and pioneer non-government community development organisation in Sri Lanka with a track record of over six decades. Udesh provides programmatic leadership to the Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning and partakes in strategic leadership and senior advisory roles in the management of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement. Being a versatile personality Udesh is talented in managing multiple-enterprises and scopes. Beginning his career as a Teacher at his own alma-mater St. Joseph’s College Colombo as a Life Education and Ethics Animator he has pursued fulfilling career endeavours throughout. He embarked to the field of International Relations through the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations & Strategic Studies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) as a Research Analyst. His work at the Institute had been diverse from compiling research material, report drafting for the series of National Conferences on Reconciliation, to coordinating a range of signature events such as national conferences, joint research workshops and coordinating high level diplomatic talks with Colombo based diplomatic missions and foreign stakeholders. Prior to his formal employment at the institute, he successfully completed its internship program for six months as a Research Assistant. After a satisfactory completion of his tenure at the Kadirgamar Institute, he joined the One-Text Initiative Guarantee Limited. One-Text Initiative is an NGO which provides a trusted & resourceful platform for finding middle ground for competing policy interests of political stakeholders through sustained dialogue at national, provincial, district Levels in Sri Lanka on the national question, power sharing, land rights, and most importantly reconciliation. Being its fulltime Programme Promotions Consultant, his engagement spans from coordination of key stakeholder dialogues on constitutional reforms and compiling research outputs for strategic endeavours, political lobbying, and programme communications. Udesh has held and still holds multiple memberships in academic and professional bodies as well as spending time on volunteer initiatives that gives back to the community through respective initiatives. Few key highlights are his engagements with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community (Founding Deputy Curator & Curator), the Global Eco-Village Network and its regional body GENOA (Board). He is also a Member of the British International Studies Association. His key scholarly and professional interest encircles in the fields of International Development and International Relations where he mainly focuses on Integral Education, Integral Development, Democratic Politics, Complex Emergencies & Humanitarian Responses, Human Rights & Justice, De-colonisation, and Diaspora engagement. You can connect with Udesh on firstname.lastname@example.org for professional endeavours.