Kanni Wignaraja serves as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zambia. In this capacity, she coordinates overall UN assistance to Zambia, which includes grant funds and technical assistance in areas of HIV/AIDs, local development, climate change, gender equality and women’s empowerment, governance reforms and food security.
Previously, she served as a senior director at UNDP headquarters in New York City, focused on institutional reforms and capacity development. She has a breadth of field experience, covering both regional and country development work in the Asia region in areas of human rights, electoral reform, poverty reduction and economic and social policy. She has also served in Vietnam and Geneva.
A Sri Lankan national, Wignaraja majored in economics at Bryn Mawr College and holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. She is a contributor to a number of Millennium Development Goal reports and Human Development Reports and has researched and written on issues of development policy and institutional reforms.