THE PEOPLE

Board of Directors 

Tasha Manoranjan 

 

Tasha Manoranjan is the founder and director of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL). She spent over a year documenting human rights violations committed against Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka, and remains committed to pursuing accountability for violations of international law. Tasha was previously an associate in Sidley Austin LLP’s Litigation Practice. Tasha received her B.A., magna cum laude, in Justice and Peace Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Tasha earned her law degree at Yale Law School, where she served as the Features Editor and Book Reviewer for the Yale Journal of International Law, Chair of the South Asian Law Students Association and Community Enrichment Chair of the Women of Color Collective. While at Yale, Tasha wrote a paper entitled “Beaten but not Broken: Tamil Women in Sri Lanka”, which was subsequently published in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Dr. Vino Kanapathipillai 

 

Dr. Vino Kanapathipillai is a political scientist and a Tamil activist. Her academic research focuses on the re/constitution of the public-private divide in state-corporate relations driven by evolving international security discourses and practices. She teaches graduate courses on global advocacy and international public policy at SOAS University of London. Previously she was research manager for a UK government-funded study on Tamil diaspora activism. Before entering academia she worked for several years in management consultancy on projects in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her early roles in over two decades of experience in Tamil activism include managing news production at IBC Tamil radio and volunteering with TamilNet. She was editor of the Tamil Guardian newspaper from 2007 to 2011, having been associate editor and senior contributor in preceding years, and continues to work with the Tamil Guardian website’s editorial board.

Gajan Raj 

 

Gajan Raj is a hospitality, events and technology entrepreneur. Currently as founder and executive director of a hospitality group operating hotels and event venues across London and south of England he is focused on strategic management, commercial acquisitions and developing and implementing accelerated growth strategies. Previously, Gajan was a senior consultant and programme director for tier-1 Investment Banks including Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. He has an outstanding track record of delivering global scale change initiatives in large and complex organisations gained from 14 years experience in managing strategic, regulatory and process change programmes. His areas of expertise and special interest were in corporate governance, change management and benefits realisation gained through working with and supporting executive management including Chief Executives and Chief Operating Officers at global Investment Banks. Gajan has extensive board level experience from advising board members, chairing executive committees and project boards and actively contributing to industry forums. 

Nadarajah Sriskandarajah 
 

Nadarajah Sriskandarajah held the Chair of Environmental Communication at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, for ten years until his retirement in 2017. Previously he has been at universities in Sydney, Copenhagen, Papua New Guinea, and Peradeniya, with brief sabbatical positions held also at Illinois, Harvard, Aas (Norway) and Jaffna. Besides his diverse interests at the intersection of science, society and culture, and his work in conservation of nature and management of natural resources, he has been associated with the Tamil national struggle through roles in the diaspora community and in the homeland. He says that his foundation in Gandhian schooling received in old Jaffna and years of practice within Freire’s emancipatory pedagogy for self-reliance have held him in good stead as an educator, and helped him connect his development work to transformational change in society. 

Sadena Thevarajah 
 

Sadena Thevarajah is a public health professional who has spent over 10 years at the intersection of health law, policy, and stakeholder engagement. Her cross-sector experience brings a broad, system-wide perspective to her work improving health outcomes. She led the first External Affairs department at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, built business development for a tech start-up, and shaped patient programs at the American Cancer Society. Previously, she served in the Obama Administration, both in the Office of the HHS Secretary as well as in the White House during the passage and early implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Her recent activities outside of her paid work have included serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the foster care system, volunteering as a community mediator for local disputes such as landlord/tenant issues, and advocating against human rights abuses in Sri Lanka through People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL). Ms. Thevarajah holds a law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and a public health degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is 501(c)3 non-profit organization advocating for justice and self-determination for the Tamil people in the North-East of Sri Lanka.

People for Equality and Relief in Lanka

1629 K Street, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006

+1(202)-471-0009

contact@pearlaction.org 

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