University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Gameela Samarasinghe, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist by training and is an Associate Professor in Psychology in the Department of Sociology, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She initiated the design of and introduced the Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s in Counselling and Psychosocial Support at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. These postgraduate programs try to provoke thinking on alternative visions of what support to individuals and communities might look like while at the same time providing training on conventional counselling skills. She is the Coordinator of both programs. She has been a member of various advisory groups developing strategies for post-conflict trauma in Sri Lanka and internationally. These include her role as Technical Advisor to the Asia Foundation’s Reducing the Effects and Incidents of Trauma (RESIST) Program and to the Victims of Trauma Treatment Program (VTTP), which are programs designed to support and treat torture survivors. She was a member of the international research team on “Trauma, Peace building and Development”, run from the University of Ulster. She has written extensively on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in Sri Lanka. She has been awarded many fellowships and has been the recipient of research grants including the Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Scholar Award (2004 – 2005) at Boston University and the Fulbright Advanced Research Award (2013 – 2014) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.