Our People

We are experienced educators, change-makers, and policy shapers, coming from diverse backgrounds and multidisciplinary skillsets. We believe that change is possible when the desire for change is empowered with action.

Our common goal is enabling equitable access to free, high-quality education for all children in Sri Lanka.
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David
Boehm
Founding Director
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Lilani
Munasinghe
Founding Director
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Jeremy
De Zilwa
CEO
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Charith
Abeyratne
Director
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Dr. Nirmal
De Silva
Director
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Sherangi J. Seneviratne
Director
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Deb
Edirisinghe
Director
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Dr. Tara
de Mel
Director

WHEN PEOPLE HELP PEOPLE,
CHANGE HAPPENS

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David Boehm

Founding Director

David Boehm is an experienced educator, advocate for quality education, and an eternal optimist. David left a successful career in capital markets and banking to pursue his passion for teaching mathematics in a New York City public school. While teaching in Sri Lanka he witnessed the pressing need to improve the country’s education system. To address this challenge, David co-founded Teach First Sri Lanka. He firmly believes education is a fundamental right of every child and investing in our future leaders is key to creating a better tomorrow. In addition to his teaching experience, David has also held senior leadership positions in finance, technology, and strategic consulting. He currently serves as the Director of Technology at the prestigious British School in Colombo.
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Lilani Munasinghe

Founding Director

Lilani Munasinghe is a highly experienced educator, counsellor, and certified teacher trainer, as well as a devoted mother of two. With over two decades of experience in classrooms across Sri Lanka, Lilani has gained a reputation for her empathetic and research-grounded approach to communicating with children. Despite the challenges within the Sri Lankan education system, Lilani remains a pragmatic optimist, believing in better possibilities for all. She began her career in Special-Needs (SEN) and pre-school education in Colombo, before progressing to teach middle and high school in diverse instructional capacities. In addition to her extensive experience, Lilani has a background in Child Psychology, which she incorporates into her teaching, ensuring her students’ emotional needs are met. Prior to her current role teaching English at the British School in Colombo, she taught at St Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia.

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Jeremy De Zilwa

CEO

Jeremy De Zilwa is an experienced professional who transitioned from banking to pursue his passion for education. At Next Campus, he gained valuable experience in program delivery and identified a significant gap between local and international education. This led him to Teach First Sri Lanka, where he plays a vital role in the organization’s operations and strategic direction. In addition, he has volunteered with Hype Sri Lanka and participated in the PeaceX Fellowship program. Jeremy holds a Masters in Project Management from Birmingham City University and is dedicated to continued learning in educational development.

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Charith Abeyratne

Director

Charith Abeyratne is a positive realist who has a strong passion for helping children learn. He has taught at Teach First UK where he witnessed the transformational impact that well-trained and empathetic teachers can have on society’s most vulnerable children, both inside and outside the classroom. While Charith was to initially pursue a vocation in Law his experience as a Fellow changed his perspective and helped him find his true passion. He is a passionate teacher that has seen how this model works first hand and wholeheartedly believes in it. Charith places great emphasis on the relationships between the teacher, student, and parent, believing that when these relationships work together in harmony, it benefits the overall well-being of a child. Outside of teaching, Charith is an Artificial Intelligence and Data Consultant at Deloitte, London.

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Dr. Nirmal De Silva

Director

Dr Nirmal De Silva is a visionary leader who has devoted a significant portion of his career to exploring the significance and worth of education. In his current position at Global Entrepreneurship Network Sri Lanka, he has played a vital role in developing a curriculum that focuses on comprehensive learning and cultivating the right mindset. Dr De Silva is deeply committed to inspiring individuals from all walks of life to become catalysts for change and enhance the well-being of society as a whole. As an award-winning strategy consultant, SME advocate, impact investor, and associate professor with over 20 years of experience in top leadership roles, including with Fortune 500 companies, he sits on the boards of multiple public and private sector organizations.

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Sherangi J. Seneviratne

Sherangi is an experienced Brand & Communications Strategist, sustainability advocate, and dedicated mentor. Throughout a career of almost two decades, she’s known for crafting strategies that not only enhance brand communications but also foster meaningful connections with audiences. Her passion to better understand community and how we can all do a little more good for the world, wherever we may be and however we can contribute, drives everything she does. This commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional endeavours, as she actively educates and guides internal teams on responsible branding practices. Emphasising a holistic approach to leadership and change management, Sherangi champions conscious leadership and empathy-driven methodologies. Her advocacy for sustainability and community engagement underscores her belief in leveraging business for social good, empowering others to contribute meaningfully to a better world.

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Deb Edirisinghe

Director

Deb Edirisinghe is a passionate advocate for children’s welfare and social justice. She founded Child Action Lanka, an organization that provides safe spaces for vulnerable children across eight high-need locations. Additionally, she holds the position of Director at Anugra Asia and Asia Director at Epiphany Trust, while maintaining a close working relationship with Global Goodwill Ambassadors. Her remarkable work has been recognised with numerous accolades, including the Lifetime Achievement Award (Women World Awards 2019), Zonta Centennial Award, and Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Zinta Awards 2019. She is currently pursuing a PhD from Durham University.

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Dr. Tara de Mel

Director

Dr Tara de Mel is a distinguished figure in Sri Lanka’s education landscape, with over two decades of experience working to improve the country’s education system. She is a passionate advocate for quality and equality in education, as well as child protection and preventing bullying in schools and universities. Her impressive career includes serving the government of Sri Lanka for almost twenty years, as Secretary to the Minister of Education and Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka on Education, among other high-level positions. Dr Tara is also co-chair of Education Forum Sri Lanka, a member of the Worldwide Commission to Educate All Kids and the UNESCO Advisory Board of the Global Education Monitoring Report. She holds a research-based MD from the University of Colombo and an MPhil from the University of London, and is the author of ‘Reforming Education: Challenges to Change’.