Who We Are
Jayantha Obeysekera

Jayantha Obeysekera

Director and Research Professor, Sea Level Solutions Center, Florida International University

Bio

Dr. Obeysekera has extensive national and international experience in the planning and management of water resources systems, with a particular emphasis on modeling and the implications of climate change, especially sea level rise and changes in rainfall patterns. Before joining Florida International University, he managed a large group of hydrologic and environmental modelers, directed modeling associated with the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, and conducted research on sea level rise and other implications of climate change. He also helped establish the Interagency Modeling Center at the South Florida Water Management District. Dr. Obeysekera has served as a member of several committees of the National Academy, including those associated with Sustainable Water & Environmental Management in California Bay-Delta, the California Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the Edwards Aquifer in Texas, the Klamath River in Oregon, and more recently, the Modernization of Probable Maximum Precipitation. He chaired the committee that developed the 2019 Unified Sea Level Rise projections for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.

Dr. Obeysekera was a member of the federal advisory committee that directed the development of the 2014 National Climate Assessment and co-authored several sea level rise projections reports published in 2012, 2017, and most recently in 2022 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He was also a member of the Coastal Assessment Regional Scenario Working Group associated with the Department of Defense in the United States, which developed regional sea level projections for all military installations worldwide. He developed estimates of future changes in extreme rainfall for the Florida Building Commission and has assisted the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in developing new methods to incorporate sea level rise and rainfall patterns into the planning of future transportation infrastructure in the State of Florida. Currently, Dr. Obeysekera serves as the chair of the rainfall working group established by the State of Florida Flood Hub.

Dr. Obeysekera, a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida, holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Sri Lanka, an M. Eng. from the University of Roorkee, India, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. Dr. Obeysekera has co-authored 80 research articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals. He is a recipient of the 2015 Norman Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers for a technical paper that makes a definitive contribution to engineering.