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Varuni Dayaratna

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Vice President
Varuni is a development researcher with over 25 years of experience working in the international development field.

Varuni has managed and implemented evaluations and technical assistance projects worldwide. As senior vice president and director of the International Programs department (INPRO), Varuni oversees a multidisciplinary staff of more than 50 researchers implementing projects in over 100 countries.

INPRO provides governments, international aid agencies, private entities, and civil society organizations with reliable, high-quality data and evidence to improve their policies and programming. INPRO’s portfolio comprises over 500 projects that span multiple sectors and draw on core competencies in rigorous impact and performance evaluations, program monitoring, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and intervention development research. Varuni leads INPRO’s growth and strategic direction, providing oversight on business development and portfolio diversification, department finances, talent acquisition, and strategic partnerships.

Over her 16 years at NORC, Varuni has served as director for numerous projects, including the $25 million USAID-funded Reading & Access Evaluations contract, multimillion dollar Millennium Challenge Corporation evaluations in Lesotho, Ghana, and Honduras, and the evaluation of USAID’s School Health and Reading Program in Uganda. Throughout her career, Varuni has also conducted research and technical assistance projects in Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Zambia.

Before joining NORC, Varuni served as regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Health Policy Initiative, a multi-year USAID-funded health project, at The Futures Group International (now Palladium). Prior to that, she worked at the World Bank. Varuni is fluent in Spanish and Sinhalese.



Princeton University


Williams College

Project Contributions

Reading & Access Evaluations

Generating evidence to inform USAID’s early grade reading and access to education programs


U.S. Agency for International Development

Read Liberia Program Impact Evaluation

Impact evaluation finds high-quality materials are key to improving reading outcomes


U.S. Agency for International Development

Tusome Early-Grade Reading Evaluation

Translating USAID-funded pilot programs into national-scale initiatives


U.S. Agency for International Development