UCAR announces new director of government relations and external engagement

Pamitha Weerasinghe will advocate for the value of Earth system science

Mar 3, 2021 - by Laura Snider

Pamitha Weerasinghe
Pamitha Weerasinghe

The University Corporation of Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has named Pamitha Weerasinghe as the organization’s new director of government relations and external engagement. 

Weerasinghe is joining UCAR from the Union of Concerned Scientists, where he served as the senior manager of government affairs. He previously worked for seven years on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

“One of the vital services UCAR offers its 120 college and university members is to effectively represent the interests of the Earth system science community in Washington,” said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. “I am excited to know that Pamitha will be joining us as the skills, enthusiasm, and experience he brings is what UCAR needs to successfully advocate for the value of our science with today’s policymakers.”

Pamitha holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a bachelor’s of art in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland. His first day at UCAR will be April 5.

“I am proud to be joining UCAR at such a critical moment when our society is facing so many challenges that Earth system science can help surmount, including our fight to address the climate change crisis," Weerasinghe said. "I have had the good fortune of working with many in the Earth system science community throughout my career in Washington, and I know that the value of this work is only increasing in importance and relevance. I look forward to bringing to bear the full weight of this organization in the key conversations to come as we aim to broker solutions that are supported by science and supportive of efforts to protect our national interests.”

UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of 120 North American colleges and universities that grant degrees in the Earth system sciences. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research on behalf of the National Science Foundation. 

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