Vagisha Gunasekara begins her tenure as the Executive Director of the American Institute for Lankan Studies (the AISLS Colombo Centre) on October 3, 2016. Vagisha studies particular entanglements of gender and conflict in rapidly changing situations in the South Asia region. She received her PhD in political science from Purdue University, USA. Her current work focuses on the changing nature of capital-labour relations, dynamics of centre-periphery relations and political brokerage in post-war Sri Lanka. In the recent past, she conducted research on the political economy of household indebtedness, livelihoods and service delivery, and the social, economic- and political dynamics and effects of tourism development in war-affected areas.
Vagisha teaches in the Post-Graduate Diploma leading to the Master of Gender and Women’s Studies (PGDGWS) programme at the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) at the University of Colombo. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Women’s Education and Research Centre (WERC), Sri Lanka.