Bhagya Senaratne is a Senior Lecturer (U.S. Associate Professor) in the Department of Strategic Studies, at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka (KDU). She is the first academic from the university to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship. Her research at the Center for Global Asia focuses on Sri Lanka’s geopolitical importance and engagement with the Belt and Road Initiative. She researches and teaches on areas related to Foreign Policy Analysis (Sri Lanka, China, U.S.), Diplomacy, Strategic Communications and Maritime Security.
Senaratne has served in several editorial boards such as the Journal of Defence & Policy Analysis published by the Faculty of Defence & Strategic Studies, KDU and the Defence and Security Journal published by the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Sri Lanka of which she was the Editor-in-Chief in 2021. She co-edited Pakistan-Sri Lanka Relations: A Story of Friendship in 2017 with Muhammad Imran. This is the first publication analysing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Senaratne is currently co-editing Sri Lanka’s Defence Policy since Independence with Professor Emeritus Amal Jayawardane. She has a podcast with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), USA and writes to the Stimson Center’s South Asian Voices on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.
Among the awards and honours received, Senaratne was the recipient of the U.S. State Department’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) Award in 2020, the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2019, and the 22nd Ship for World Youth Programme awarded jointly by the Cabinet Office of Japan and the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan in 2010 to name a few. She is an alumna of the University of Colombo, the Indian Institute for Mass Communication (IIMC), the Geneva Center for Security Policy, the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), the Near East and South Asia Center (NESA), the IVLP and SWY. Senaratne was a Visiting Scholar at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) in Beijing, China in 2017. She received her Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.