Jayantha Dhanapala is a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs (1998-2003) and a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the USA (1995-7) and to the UN Office in Geneva (1984-87).
He is currently the 11th President of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Deputy Chairman of the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and on several other advisory boards of international bodies.
As a Sri Lankan diplomat Dhanapala served in London, Beijing, Washington D.C., New Delhi, and Geneva, as well as represented Sri Lanka at several international conferences, chairing many of them including the historic NPT Review and Extension Conference of 1995. He was Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) from 1987-92.
Dhanapala has received many international awards and honorary doctorates, has published five books and several articles in international journals and lectured widely. He speaks Sinhala, English, Chinese and French. He is married and has a daughter and a son.