Professor W.L. Sumathipala is a graduate in Physics from University of Ceylon and obtained his Doctoral Degree from University of Hawaii. He is a Charted Physicist, Fellow Institute of Physics, Advisor/Consultant to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development & Environments, and Member of the Sustainable Development Council.
He is the Chairman of Expert committee on Climate Change Mitigation, a member of the Expert Committee on Climate change Adaptation and member of the expert committee on Biodiversity of the ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. He is also the Chairman of the Thematic Research group on Climate Change and Natural Disasters as well as Chairman of the Environment and Biodiversity committee of National Science Foundation (NSF).
He was Chairman of National Science Foundation (NSF).
He was the General President SLAAS, President Institute of Physics, President Institute of Environment professionals Sri Lanka. Life Member of the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA).
Prof. Sumathipala was the President of the Implementation committee of the Montreal Protocol in 2012 and a Member of the Adaptation Fund Board of the UNFCCC, and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol representing Asia Pacific region. He has represented Sri Lanka in international negotiations related to Environment treaties and conducted training programmes in various countries under UN assignments. He was elected President of the Federation of Asian Biotechnology Associations (FABA), and selected as a Senior Associate of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).
He received the prestigious award on Climate and Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection in 2008 from the United States – Environment Protection Agency (US-EPA) for outstanding contribution for global environment protection and also the best Implementer award of the Montreal Protocol in 2007 in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to protecting the ozone layer.