Purnaka L. (“PL”) de Silva, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor, School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, New Jersey; and Director, Institute for Strategic Studies and Democracy (ISSD) Malta, a small think-tank covering Libya, human trafficking, forced migration and terrorist threats posed by Islamic State (Daesh) – using satellite positioning to track human trafficking routes and collaborating with Imp. Project (founded by an ex-U.S. Special Forces NCO) that uses Palantir to collate and analyze data.

Dr. de Silva has over 30 years of experience in back-room diplomacy, mediation and negotiation dealing with complex emergencies, deeply divided societies, and civil wars. His work on conflict and peace studies includes a special focus on political violence, paramilitaries, counterterrorism, transnational security, and the role of diplomacy within the United Nations system. Dr. de Silva has taught Political Science, International Relations, Diplomacy and United Nations Studies at several universities in the United States, and served as Lecturer, School of Politics, and the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict at the Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. His current research focuses on human trafficking, forced migration and terrorism in Libya, sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe.

Dr. de Silva will speak on a panel titled, “Global Solidarity: Why must we come together?”