Chairman, Pathfinder Foundation
A graduate in History and postgraduate in International Relations, Mr Bernard Goonetilleke spent nearly four decades promoting Sri Lanka’s tourism, trade and investment abroad as an officer of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service. He took over the post of chairmanship of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in August 2008 and later was appointed as Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau with effect from November and December 2008, respectively until February 2010.
His career as a Foreign Service officer began in 1970 and has included postings to Sri Lanka diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur, New York, Bangkok, Washington D.C., Geneva and Beijing. He has held several positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ending as Director General (Multilateral Affairs) (1997-2000), and Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2003-2004).
During his career, he served as Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva (1992-1997), during which period he was concurrently accredited to the Holy See and as Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Vienna. Later he served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (2000-2003), during which assignment he was concurrently accredited as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of Mongolia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He also served as Acting Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York (2004-2005) and ended his diplomatic career as Ambassador to the United States of America (2005-2008).
Following the Signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002, he was appointed as Director-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) and functioned as a member of the government negotiating team. Since May 2010 he functions as director of several companies associated with Mercantile Merchant Bank (MMBL), and Chairperson of Pathfinder Foundation