Dr. Achala Abeysinghe is the Asia Regional Director and Head of Programs for GGGI. She has over 16 years of managerial, advisory and research experience in leading high-performing teams to deliver complex, innovative and results oriented strategies and programmes.
Prior to joining GGGI, Dr. Abeysinghe was the Head of the Global Climate Law, Policy and Governance Team at International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED-UK) as well as Head of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) Training and Support Programme for nearly 12 years.
A lawyer by training, Dr. Abeysinghe was the legal, technical and strategy advisor to the Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group under the UNFCCC negotiations, advising the Gambia, Nepal, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and the Royal Government of Bhutan from 2010 to 2019. She was also lead author of the chapter on Climate Resilient Pathways in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Dr. Abeysinghe holds a PhD in International Environmental & Climate Change Law and a Master of Laws degree in International Environmental Law & Policy from Kent Law School at University of Kent, UK. In 2008, she was Robert S. McNamara Research Fellow of the World Bank, conducting her research at the Vrije University, The Netherlands. Prior to moving to the UK, she graduated from Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka with an LLB (Hons) degree and worked as a lecturer in Environmental Law at the Legal Studies Department of the Open University of Sri Lanka. She’s also an attorney-at-law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.
Dr. Abeysinghe is a trusted advisor to various high- performing international organizations such as the Mission 2020 led by former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figures. In 2015, she was nominated as one of the top 15 female climate champions in the world in recognition of her role in negotiating the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.