Samitha Sugathimala

Executive Director/Programme Director

Samitha Sugathimala works as the Programme Director at Foundation for Innovative Social Development and gives overall direction to the 3 thematic areas of FISD- Gender and Development, Child Rights Protection and Promotion and Alcohol and Drugs and Development which includes conceptualizing, managing and providing technical inputs. She is responsible for assigning project implementation teams, overseeing the planning, implementation, and evaluation of various programs aimed at addressing social issues and creating positive impact in communities.

She is a trainer, advocate and a consultant on Gender, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and other gender related development issues including the work on men and masculinities for gender justice. She holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Colombo and had done her post graduate studies in counselling and psychosocial work. Samitha has over 18 years’ experience working on the community baaed approaches for Prevention of SGBV and working with men and boys in Sri Lanka. She had also contributed to drafting and implementation of National action plan on addressing SGBV in Sri Lanka (2016-2020)

She is the National coordinator for the ‘Men Engage Alliance Sri Lanka’ since 2018 and served as the regional coordinator for Men Engage South Asia 2020-2023. She was appointed as the Global Co-Chair of the MenEngage Alliance in early 2023. Samitha acts as the advisor to the FISD National Campaign- Be the Change- on engaging men and boys for gender justice and has developed tools and educational materials on transforming patriarchal masculinities. She serves in the Government Steering committees for the development the National Plan of Action on SGBV (2023-2027) and on the Core steering Committee on the implementation of National action plan on Women, Peace and Security.