Dr. Achala Abeysinghe is the Asia Regional Director and Head of Programs at GGGI. She has over 18 years of strategic leadership, managerial, fundraising, and research experience together with leading high-performing teams to deliver complex, innovative, and results-oriented strategies and programs. Before her current role, she was the Country Representative of GGGI for Papua New Guinea.
Prior to joining GGGI, Dr. Abeysinghe was Head of Global Climate Law, Policy and Governance Program at International Institute for Environment and Development based in London (IIED-UK) as well as Head of the European Capacity Building Initiative (ecbi) Training and Support Programme for over 10 years.
A lawyer by training, Dr. Abeysinghe was the Legal, Technical and Strategic 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 the Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chapter on Climate Resilient Pathways for its 5th Assessment Report.
Dr. Abeysinghe holds a Ph.D. in International Environmental & Climate Change Law and a Master of Laws degree in International Environmental Law & Policy from Kent Law School at the 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 the Faculty of Law, the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka with an LLB (Hons) degree and was a lecturer in Environmental Law at the Legal Studies Department of the Open University of Sri Lanka. She is 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 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. At GGGI, Dr. Abeysinghe was awarded the ‘Role Model of the Year’ 2020 Award for her high standards of professionalism, integrity, and dynamic leadership.