Prof. Dr. H.H.D.N.P. Opatha is the Senior Professor [formerly Professor of Human Resource Management (on Merit)] in the Department of Human Resource Management (HRM), Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (USJ), Sri Lanka. He is a Litterarum Doctor and has held many academic positions including Assistant Lecturer in Business Administration and Senior Lecturer (Grade II) in Business Administration in the Department of Business Administration of USJ; Senior Lecturer (Grade II) in HRM in the Department of HRM of USJ; Course Director and Visiting Lecturer in HRM for graduate programmes (MBA and MA Labour Studies) at University of Colombo; Visiting Lecturer for various prosgraduate programmes including MBA (HRM Specialization) programme at Postgraduate Institute of Management, MSc and MD in Medical Administration at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine of University of Colombo, MLHRM programme at Faculty of Graduate Studies of University of Colombo, MBA programme at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, and MHRM programme at University of Kelaniya; Visiting Lecturer at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka; Visiting Lecturer in HRM for MBA and MSc Programmes at Universiti Utara Malaysia in 2000 and 2001; and Visiting Associate Professor in Business, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia (Northern University of Malaysia) in 2010. Also he has performed several managerial positions including Coordinator (Research) of the PhD Programme in Management Studies of USJ; Chairperson of the Board of Management Studies and Commerce, Faculty of Graduate Studies, USJ; Head of the Department of Human Resource Management, USJ; Director of Local Technical Secretariat, USJ; Coordinator of the MSc Management Programme, USJ; and Officer (Class III) in Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service. Also in 2013 and 2014 he was appointed as the Consultant in Soft Skills to the Institute of Indigenous Medicine of University of Colombo under a World Bank Project and contributed to develop soft skills of a group of its academics and a batch of undergraduates, and soft skills curriculum for its undergraduates. He served as a Consultant/Resource Person in HR for many private and public organizations.  

He holds four academic qualifications, i.e. Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Special) (Honours) (USJ)-1985; Master of Science in Business Administration (HRM) (USJ)-1991; Master of Business Administration (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom)-1993; and Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Management (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)-2001. Also he holds three professional qualifications, i.e. Diploma in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations (Distinction) (Cambridge Tutorial College-currently known as Cambridge International College, United Kingdom); Diploma in English (Merit) (College of Professional Management- currently under the Cambridge International College, United Kingdom); and Honorary Doctorate in HRM (on Merit) (IIU). 

His publications include 17 Books; 51 Research Articles in Local and International Journals of Repute; 17 Abstracts; and 04 Study Manuals. His unique achievements are Author of the First Sri Lankan Textbook on Organizational Behaviour in English Medium (Organizational Behaviour: The Human Side of Work, 2015); Author of the First Sri Lankan Textbook on HRM in English Medium (Human Resource Management: Personnel, 2009); Founder Editor of Sri Lankan Journal of HRM (2007); First Full Professor in the field of HRM in Sri Lanka (2003); the Most Senior Academic in the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce of USJ with effect from his merit promotion to the Post of Professor (from Senior Lecturer-Grade II) (from 26/06/2003); becoming Full Professor at the age of 40 with full academic qualifications (both local and foreign) in the field; the First Senior Professor in HRM in Sri Lanka and the First Senior Professor in the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, USJ (from 26/06/2011); the First Sri Lankan to qualify with two Master’s Degrees specialising in HRM and a Doctor of Philosophy in HRM (2001); Author of the First Textbook on HRM in Sinhala Medium (Sewamandala Kalamanakaranaye, 1995); and the First A/L Commerce Student who entered the university from Dambullu Maha Viduhala in Matale District (now known as Dambulla Central College) (1980). 

He has so far developed many students at basic degree level and postgraduate degree level as well and also is indeed significantly instrumental in developing curricula for various HRM-related degree programmes being currently offered by some Sri Lankan state universities including BSc HRM (Special) degree and MSc and MBA degrees at USJ. He has given a significant pioneering contribution to commencement of the BSc HRM (Special) degree and MSc with specializations in functional fields of Business Administration and MBA degrees at USJ and commencement of the International Conference on Business Management (ICBM) at USJ having served as a consultant, a member of the organizing committee, editor of the book of abstracts, and a research session chairperson for the first conference (while being an active contributor to the series of the conference held annually so far). His part-time positions and special roles include Member of Board of Management of PIM, Member of Board of Management of Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Adjudicator for appointments of University Associate Professors/Professors (National University of Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia, University of Colombo, USJ etc.), and University Grants Commission’s Nominee for Professorial Appointments at Local Universities. 

His recognitions and awards include Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship awarded to read for BSc by the Government of Sri Lanka in 1981 as recognition of the best results secured in Matale District from the G.C.E. (A/L) held in 1980; Open Competitive Commonwealth Scholarship awarded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom in 1992 to read for MBA; A financial award from Swedes Government under SAREC-SJP Assistance Programme to read PhD at UUM; A special award by a team of Human Resource Professionals in the appreciation and recognition of the achievements and contributions to the Discipline of HRM (17/12/2003); Honorary Membership of Institute of Personnel Management Sri Lanka (INC) in recognition of the outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of Human Resource (12/05/2005); Selected as a Sri Lankan Personality and included in the Millennium Register of Sri Lankan Personalities (page number: 214) complied and presented by Key Research and Information Ltd; Certified as Human Resource Management Strategist on 21st day of June, 2007 by Lanka Accreditation Centre (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka; Award of Excellence in the field of HRM (in recognition of the contribution rendered towards the academic field of HRM in Sri Lanka) by the Students’ Association of the Department of HRM, Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies, University of Kelaniya endorsed by the Head of the Department of HRM and presented by the Vice Chancellor, University of Kelaniya (09/06/2009); Award of Pride of HR Profession by World HRD Congress at Global HR Excellence Awards 2010 (12/02/2010); the IPM Gold Medal for the most outstanding HR professional/Personality of the year which is a once in a life time award (07/06/2010); Certified Doctor of Business Administration (CDBA) by The Oxford Association of Management, Oxford, England (30/09/2010); Award of Honor in recognition of contributions given to HRM and Management education in Sri Lanka and to MBA and other Management programs offered by University of Colombo at the 8th International Conference on Management and Finance, University of Colombo (13/12/2013); Award named “Uththama Purusa Upaharaya (Great Man Felicitation)” for teaching to a large number of Sri Lankan university students for more than 25 years without leaving the motherland conferred by Sri Jayewardenepura University Business Administration Graduates Foundation, 1987/88, 88/89 at the Berjaya Mount Royal Beach Hotel (28/12/2013); Research Awards-2014 by Vice Chancellor, USJ in recognition of achieving the highest h-index and the highest citations in the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce of USJ for the year at the awarding ceremony held on 18th November 2015; and The National Book Award-2015 for the book titled “Enhancing Your Personal Quality” published by the Universiti Utara Malaysia written by Professor Opatha being the main author and Associate Professor Lim Kong Teong. The book was selected as the best book under the General/Common Book (Motivation) Category awarded by the National Book Development Foundation, Malaysia (25/11/2015 at Putra World Trade Centre, KL). 

The Senate of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, on the recommendation of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Management Studies, conferred him with the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) at the 17th Convocation that was held on 29th December 2015 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Colombo. The decision of conferring the D.Litt. upon Prof. Opatha was taken by the Senate after considering his pioneering and outstanding contribution to the Research and University education in Sri Lanka in general and study of and dissemination of knowledge in Human Resource Management in particular. As a matter of fact he is regarded as the Sri Lankan Guru of HRM. 

Sources: Introductory Note about the Author by Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne, Vice Chancellor, USJ for the first print of the book titled HRM: Personnel in 2009, Presentation Speech of Prof. HHDNP Opatha by Dr. R.M. Wasantha Rathnayake, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka for the award of the D.Litt at General Convocation 2014, and Proceedings of HR Dialogue & Conference 2014 by Prof. Hemantha Kottawatta, Chief Editor, Department of HRM, USJ