Pamela D. M. Pieris, PhD ’03

The only person in her native Sri Lanka with a doctoral degree in social work, Pamela D. M. Pieris (PhD ’03) returned home in 2005 to a country devastated by a tsunami and still in the throes of a decades-long civil war. Fortunately, she brought with her not only strong social development skills, but also extensive management, teaching and leadership experience acquired in Bolivia, Colombia, India, the Philippines, Israel and the United States. Today she’s an internationally known speaker, a visiting lecturer and researcher at Sri Lanka’s only social work school, and an independent consultant for several NGOs. During a recent project with YWCA Sri Lanka that focused on the country’s conflict areas, Pieris led the strategic planning process and co-authored a primer on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, which reaffirms women’s critical role in maintaining and promoting worldwide peace and security.