Board of Directors

Mr. Channa de Silva

Chairman – Non Executive / Independent

Mr Channa de Silva was appointed to the SDF Board in April 2011 thereafter appointed Deputy Chairman in November 2014 and assumed office as the Chairman of the SDF in October 2016.

He previously served as Managing Director of Summit Finance PLC as well as Managing Director of George Steuart Finance PLC. Formerly, he served as a Director of Pan Asia Bank PLC. He also served as Group Managing Director of Delmege Group Limited. He has served the government sector previously as Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Executive Director of the Board of Investments (BOI) Sri Lanka.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA – UK) and Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA – UK), Mr. De Silva is a Sri Lanka Council Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA – UK) as well as Sri Lankan council member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments ( CISI- UK ) . He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colombo and Master’s Degrees from Harvard University (USA) and Melbourne University (Australia). He serves as the President of University of Colombo Alumni Association “Sarasavi Mithuro” and also serves as Founder Chairman of Capital Media. He is also an Edward Mason Fellow of Harvard University and served as a Teaching Fellow in Finance at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Mr. Masayoshi Yamashita

Non Executive / Non Independent

Born in Tokyo in 1973, Mr. Masayoshi Yamashita holds a degree from the Department of Political Science at Hosei University (Japan) and currently serves as the President and CEO of Gentosha Total Asset Consulting Inc. Mr. Yamashita began his career at the Sanwa Bank (now MUFG Bank, Ltd.), as a coverage banker for corporate clients at the bank’s Iidabashi Branch, Hibiya Branch and Corporate Banking Division of Tokyo Headquarters. There, his duties included providing support for corporate funding, overseas expansion, and management finance strategies, offering settlement solutions, and making proposals to company owners looking to establish business succession frameworks. At the Sanwa Bank Headquarters, Mr. Yamashita not only gained experience as a credit inspector and president’s secretary but also developed expertise in crisis management support. After joining Gentosha Inc. (a Japanese publishing firm) in 2006, Mr. Yamashita served as a business management specialist in the Business Management Department, utilizing the experience he had gained in IR, stockholder relations, internal control development, IPO preparation, MBO and other initiatives for listed companies from a corporate perspective. In 2012, Mr. Yamashita helped found Gentosha Total Asset Consulting Inc. and now also holds several concurrent positions, including Executive Officer of Gentosha Inc.

Dr. Richard W A Vokes

Independent Non Executive

Appointed to the Board in March 2013, Dr. Richard Vokes is the Chairman of its Integrated Risk Management Committee. Dr Vokes currently works as an Independent Economic Consultant. From 1991-2011, he worked for the Asian Development Bank where he held a number of senior positions including Country Director for Nepal and later Sri Lanka. He has also been a Board Member of the Himal Hydro and Gorakali Tyre Company in Nepal, the South Asia Gateway Terminals and the National Development Bank (NDB) in Sri Lanka. Dr. Vokes was the Assistant Professor of Rural Development Planning at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand, from August 1978 to December 1982. Between 1985 and 1991, Dr. Vokes was Lecturer in Economics and South East Asian Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. Specialising in Economic Development of South and South East Asia, Dr. Vokes has extensive experience in conflict and post-conflict environments and disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation, policy dialogue and project and programme management. In addition to Sri Lanka and Nepal, Dr. Vokes has worked in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Bhutan, Maldives, Cambodia and Myanmar. Dr. Vokes holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hull (1978), Certificate of Education in Economics, Hull College of Education (1973) and BA (Hons.) in Economics and South East Asian Studies from the University of Hull (1972).

Dr. Janaki Kuruppu

Independent Non Executive

Dr Janaki Kuruppu was appointed to the Director board of SDF on 22nd December 2015. Dr. Kuruppu brings with her 27 years of professional experience to enhance the operations of the SDF family. Her experience in development banking as the first Chairperson of the Regional Development Bank which she set up by merging 6 provincial level banks to become the development bank with Sri Lanka’s largest network, experience in retail and corporate banking and finance companies adds value to SDF.

Starting her career as an entrepreneur, Dr. Kuruppu was single handedly responsible for bringing Nielsen to Sri Lanka and spearheaded it to become the largest Market Research Company of that time as its first CEO/Managing Director. Thereafter, she served the Cargills Group as the Group Director-Strategic Planning and Business Development. After an illustrious career in the private sector, she served the public sector for seven years in an advisory capacity. Her tenure in the Public Service is marked with many milestones. Namely, she has the distinct honour of being the first Chairperson of the Regional Development Bank and the first female Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tea Board. She also founded the Mother Sri Lanka Trust, a non-profit organization to pioneer proactive participation in nation building. Dr. Kuruppu was also an Adviser to the cabinet Sub Committee for Food Security and Cost of Living Management, Director of the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment, Commercial Bank, Colombo Dockyard & The Green Building Council and a Director of the Presidential Secretariat.

Dr. Kuruppu holds a PhD from the University of Colombo, an M.A. in Statistics and a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Missouri, USA. At present, Dr Kuruppu is the Chairperson of Mother Sri Lanka Trust, runs her own business ventures and also works as a freelance business strategy and development consultant while serving as a member of many corporate boards.

Mr. Chamindha Rajakaruna (Attorney-At-Law)

Non Executive / Non Independent

Chamindha Rajakaruna, is the Executive Director of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka, the largest non-governmental organization in the country since 2015. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Sarvodaya Development Finance Limited in 01st November 2017

Mr. Rajakaruna was prominent student of Royal College, Colombo 07 and he obtained his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Peradeniya with a Second-class Upper. He started his postgraduate studies, Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering in Belgium, in Katholieke University, Leuven (2003) and in Vrije University, Brussels (2004). Afterwards he entered the Technical University of Karlsruhe, Germany for his second Masters of Sicence Resources Engineering (2006). In his academic career, Mr. Rajakaruna was awarded two scholarships from the governments of Belgium and Germany, namely Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad (VLIR) and Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).

After his return to Sri Lanka in end-2006, Mr. Rajakaruna joined with Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement as the Legal Officer. Subsequently, the National Awakening and Good Governance program of Sarvodaya ‘Deshodaya’ was handed over to him and he was appointed Director of Deshodaya (Awakening the Nation) Secretariat.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom offered him the Chevening Fellowship to study Government and Civil Society/NGO Relations in Wolverhampton University, UK. He also has served in the capacities of Project Director and Project Manager of a few USAID, Canadian High Commission, Embassy to Switzerland and Royal Norwegian Embassy funded projects to promote reconciliation and good governance in Sri Lanka.

He presently serves as the General Secretary of People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), and as Director of Sarvo-Tec (PVT) Ltd., and the Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning.

Mr. Rajakaruna is also an Attorney-at-Law in the Supreme Court. Democratic Social Republic of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Christopher Amrit CanagaRetna

Non Executive / Independent

Mr. Christopher Amrit CanagaRetna was appointed to the Director board of SDF on 19th October 2018. Mr. CanagaRetna is an experienced and qualified banker with over 35 years of international and local experience specializing in retail and corporate financing with the last 7 years heading Corporate & SME Business Banking areas of Islamic Financing. He has covering skills of financial advisory services relating to working capital funding to Financial Institutions, Corporates, Small & Medium sized Industries, Startups including Foreign Trade Financing and Construction Finance. Having commenced his career at European Asian Bank in 1981, he has since worked for over 8 banks both locally and internationally. Apart from his banking experience, he was the CEO / Director of a Central Bank approved Finance Company and has been a Financial Consultant to both private / government entities.

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Mrs.Shehara de Silva

Mrs.Shehara De Silva was appointed to the Director board of SDF on July 2019.An experienced international communication and marketing expert, with a 20 year track record of high impact Strategy development in Malaysia and Sri Lanka , Shehara has been behind the success of several local, regional and Fortune 500 multinational brands .
Shehara worked over a decade with Omnicom companies beginning as Director Planning of Naga DDB and later Managing Director of Interbrand Malaysia. Interbrand is the world’s leading brand consultancy.
She ended up as Group Chief Strategy Officer of Foetus International with oversight over Naga DDB, Rapp ,Tribal DDB Milk PR ,covering a spectrum of companies in digital and interactive marketing ,PR,media and publishing, and advertising. Brands she has worked on include, Mobil, Cadbury, Nestle,American Express, Hasbro, Pepsi, Peter Stuyvesant, Volkswagen, McDonalds, F& N, Tourism Malaysia.
She is on the Board of Keells Foods Plc, The Biomass Group, The Neelan Thiruchelvan Trust,Informatics Institute of technology and The Music Project .She has been previously on the boards of The Arthur C Clark Centre for Science and Technology, and Eagle Fund Management. She has also worked in the development sector with ILO, Internews, USAID, NORAD, GIZ Plan International etc.
She was a competiveness consultant for USAID and did two separate in- depth competiveness studies on two major Sri Lankan family owned groups Hemas Holdings and Ceylon Biscuits Ltd. She has been a regional expert resource for the commonwealth foundation PAN Commonwealth civil society network on HIV Aids. She is also a founder member of the Nokunu movement . A citizen engagement movement in
waste management, plastic reduction and recycling. She has created a virtual think tank called the IDEAHA and helps a range of social enterprise ranging from Prosthetics to tech companies, She advises two Sri Lankan owned Tech Companies Cloud of Goods and Emojot both based in the Silicon Valley.
Shehara was also Deputy Director General Marketing and Promotion of the Board of Investment (BOI),Trained on attracting FDI at the IDA in Ireland. She was at BOI ,at a time when both GSP and the Indo Lanka FTA were negotiated and implemented. Innovative Public private Partnerships such as Lanka Link/Cap Gemin ,and the diaspora engagement and knowledge transfer initiative -’Return to Lanka “was
initiated . Known for her creative conceptual flair, she has being linked to several iconic transformation and CSR strategies, including “Developing young Minds’, “Planet Internet”, the StART Foundation” MAS Women Go Beyond etc . As CEO and Founder of ESP consult she created PET(People Empowerment through technology)and SETTLE(Social equity through teaching and learning English)and has mooted the strategy of positioning Sri Lanka as a brain port leveraging knowledge services and human capital development for Asia.
She facilitated in the transformation of three Sri Lankan groups Singer in retail, NDB in banking and Janashakthi in Insurance.
She has sat on several think tanks, judged and mentored several startups and Innovation awards from the Eisenhower fellowship and Ray awards, to MIT global startups and the Roger Herschel creativity awards. She has spoken extensively at international conferences on branding, strategy and Gender issues and won several International marketing and women leadership awards.