U.S. Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice Desirée Cormier Smith arrived to Sri Lanka, making stops in Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, and Kandy. This will be her first trip to South Asia in this role.

The US Ambassador Julie Chung welcomed Desirée Cormier Smith, State Department’s first-ever Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice. She’s in Sri Lanka to listen and understand the challenges of Sri Lanka’s diverse communities and explore shared opportunities to eliminate barriers and advance full inclusion—essential for resilient democracies.

Throughout the week, Special Representative Cormier Smith will meet with Malaiyaha Tamils, civil society groups, and government officials to reiterate U.S. government support to help advance the human rights of members of marginalized ethnic communities in Sri Lanka. Special Representative Cormier Smith will participate in the launch of the U.S. Embassy’s English Access Scholarship Program in Nuwara Eliya, a State Department-funded global program that provides a foundation of English language skills to bright, economically disadvantaged students.

She will also present awards to 25 students who successfully completed an intensive three-month bootcamp dedicated to content creation. This initiative aims to equip youth from the Malaiyaha Tamil community with new job skills to enhance their economic opportunities.