CIMA elects new team to steer the future

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Paul Ash, FCMA, CGMA has been elected as the 88th President of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the world’s largest professional body of management accountants, and the sixth Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) – the combined strength of the American Institute of CPA and CIMA, His leadership will be supported by Sri Lankan, Melanie Kanaka FCMA, CGMA, who became Deputy President following her election at CIMA’s Annual General Meeting held on 3 June.

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Sri Lanka hosts the largest concentration of Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMAs) outside of the UK and USA, the most sought-after finance and business designation awarded by the Association. The Association represents 696,000 members, students and engaged professionals in management and public accounting across 192 countries and territories.

Melanie Janine Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA – CIMA Deputy President/Head of Finance and Administration at the World Bank in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Melanie is a Fulbright Scholar and holds an MBA specialising in international finance and corporate strategy from the Goizuetta Business School of Emory University USA. She is an accredited SAP consultant with a 30-year career in accounting, finance, treasury, SAP, strategy and general management. She has a 1st class B.Com (Hons) degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, and is a distinguished alumna of Bishop’s College, Colombo. 

Melanie has extensive experience in corporate finance, SAP and development banking across the USA, Germany and South Asia. Her corporate finance roles were with Bellsouth (USA), Sri Lankan Conglomerates – Hayleys Group and MAS Holdings, and she was a senior SAP consultant at Rapier Consulting. She is the chair of the audit committee of the Sri Lanka Family Planning Association, and a non-executive director on their national council. She also served for a two-year term on the audit committee of the International Planned Parenthood Federation headquartered in London. 

Melanie has a long and committed association with CIMA with her passion being member engagement and the development of the CIMA family for close to three decades. She has chaired numerous CIMA committees in Sri Lanka, led many innovative initiatives, served on the divisional council for nine years, board for five years, and was a former CIMA Sri Lanka divisional vice president. Melanie was the first Sri Lankan and non-UK assessor invited to the CIMA global membership board in 2009 and has been a membership assessor since 2008. 

In 2013 she was elected to CIMA council from South Asia and was subsequently co-opted in 2017. She has served on a number of the Institute’s policy committees of technical, lifelong learning, member services, membership and in 2015 was elected to CIMA’s appointment committee as a member without portfolio. Melanie has chaired two of CIMA’s policy committees namely the membership committee and the Institute’s Professional Standards and Conduct Committee. 

Melanie has served on a few international boards diverting her energies on the furtherance of the accounting profession. She is also a former Sri Lanka national swimmer, who had the rare distinction of having officiated at the centennial Olympic games in Atlanta. USA. 

Sri Lankan nationals also feature strongly in supporting the global governance of CIMA and the Association. There are four other Sri Lankans who sit on CIMA’s governing Council and three Sri Lankans represented on the Association’s Middle East, South Asia and North Africa (MESANA) Regional Advisory Panel.



CIMA Council Members

Suresh R.I. Perera FCMA, CGMA – CIMA Council Member/Principal, Tax and Regulatory, at KPMG Sri Lanka

Manohari Abeyesekera, FCMA, CGMA – CIMA Council Member/Director and Chair Audit Committee at The National Savings Bank. 

Channa Gunawardana, FCMA, CGMA – CIMA Council Member/Chief Executive Officer of Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC

Rifka Ziyard, FCMA, CGMA – CIMA Council Member/ Director – Tax and Regulatory at KPMG Sri Lanka 



The Association RAP Members

Mahesha Amarasuriya, FCMA, CGMA – Association MESANA RAP Member/AGM Card Services and Corporate Management Member of Cargills Bank 

Manohara S. Tillakawardana, FCMA, CGMA – Association MESANA RAP Member/Director of ABS Information Systems Ltd.

Akila Gunarathna, ACMA, CGMA – Association MESANA RAP Member/Head of Finance at Resus Energy PLC. 

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