Throughout Nilanka’s professional journey, he has always prioritized people and building strong relationships, playing the role of problem-solver and systems-designer to unlock the energies of any group or initiative. As the Director of Operations and Systems, Nilanka serves an essential role on the team because systems-level organizing requires careful attention to how we sense-make, adjust strategy, and communicate with our many partners. In this position, therefore, Nilanka works closely with our fiscal sponsor, funders and with our many collaborators to ensure that we are operating efficiently and capturing Horizons’ learning to digest quickly and adapt to the changing landscape. Nilanka oversees all the internal processes and systems of our distributed team, and takes the lead on creatively sharing our insights, tools, and mapping practices.
Nilanka joins The Horizons Project after serving as the operations “Swiss Army Knife” across several positions at PartnersGlobal over almost 14 years. Over his tenure he oversaw or served as the organization’s lead on contracts and compliance, human resources, and IT systems, as well as served on the executive team which oversaw country directors, business development, communications, and collaborated closely with the finance team. Additionally, he managed large events and oversaw the implementation of business process automation.
Prior to PartnersGlobal, Nilanka worked in a wide variety of industries including the monitoring and evaluation of public policy, oriental rug sales, and the service industry. He brought an eye for increasing efficiency to each of those domains and built long-lasting networks comprised of former co-workers and colleagues.
Nilanka has a Master’s in Public Administration from the George Washington University with a concentration in Budgeting and Analysis and Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and International Studies. He serves as the Treasurer on Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso’s (FAN) Board of Directors and Member-at-Large (Community and Media) on Street Meat’s Board of Directors.
As the child of Sri Lankan immigrants who returns to the island periodically, he has borne witness to the horrific outcomes of a polarized society riven by ethnic violence and a breakdown in the rule of law. He enjoys music, hiking, riding bikes, reading, beer, and trivia. Especially the combination of the last two. He is also a one-day Jeopardy! Champion and avid Learned League LLama.