Deshamanya Dr Gamani Corea (4 November 1925 – 3 November 2013) had a career of extraordinary achievement. At various times, he was the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Chairman of the South Centre in Geneva, a founding member of the Third World Forum, Ceylon's Ambassador to the EEC, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs of Ceylon and the Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ceylon. Dr Gamani Corea was also the founder chairman for MARGA Institute, the Institute of Policy Studies, the president of the Sri Lanka Economic Association and of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, and the chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka.
Dr Corea had an academic career of rare distinction. He was a graduate of two prestigious institutions of higher education, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. He was the first Sri Lankan to obtain a Doctorate in Economics. He was also the first Sri Lankan to obtain a Doctorate from Oxford University in any subject. Cambridge and Oxford in his time had some of the most famous names in economics in their faculties. Associated with Cambridge was perhaps the most influential economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes.