Tanisha Hewanpola is the speechwriter for the President of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Tanisha is a career diplomat in the Australian Foreign Service. Since 2012, she has served at the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Most recently, Tanisha was Australia’s peacebuilding and conflict prevention expert to the United Nations, where she co-chaired the intergovernmental negotiations of the 2015 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture – culminating in the simultaneous adoption, by the General Assembly and Security Council, of the 2016 ‘Sustaining Peace’ resolutions. From 2012-2015, Tanisha was Australia’s human rights and gender expert to the United Nations. This included serving as Australia’s representative to the Third Committee, and as Australia’s human rights, and women, peace and security expert on the Security Council, during Australia’s term as a non-permanent member in 2013-14.
Prior to being posted to New York, Tanisha worked on Australia’s foreign policy engagement in the Asia-Pacific, with a particular focus on Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. She also served as a member of Australia’s crisis response team working on the Arab Spring, Fukushima-Daaichi nuclear disaster, and Christchurch earthquake. Tanisha has also been a legal adviser in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Tanisha has a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, and Bachelor degrees in Arts, Commerce, and Laws from the University of Adelaide. She is admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of South Australia.