The Kansas Epsilon Chapter of Phi Delta Theta recently hosted a March reception for chapter alumnus Sanaka Samarasinha and his oldest daughter, Olivia, a Kappa Delta at the University of Kansas. Nu Province President Kevin Pouch helped welcome the United Nations brother.
Brother Samarasinha of Sri Lanka was recently posted as the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Belarus. Samarasinha was appointed by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in September and began duties on Jan. 1, 2013.
Samarasinha’s role in Belarus as the chief U.N. representative focuses on preventing the spread of HIV and tuberculosis, strengthening the health system, improving education, creating a “green” economy, preparation for natural disasters and working on the prevention of human trafficking and domestic violence, among other issues.
Samarasinha also administers the U.N.’s Development Programme and is the head of the population fund, UNAIDS. He is responsible for the U.N.’s Department for Public Information in Belarus.
Samarasinha spent time with Kansas Epsilon in a Q&A session talking about global leadership, his career path and related experiences. The hour exchange of a three-hour visit fascinated and inspired the brothers.
During his time at Emporia State, Samarasinha was editor-in-chief of The Bulletin student newspaper, served as a senator on Associated Student Government, and was initiated as Phi Delta Theta’s first international member. He transferred on to obtain a journalism degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Kansas. Samarasinha earned a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland.