Doctor of Philosophy in Work Human Resource Development, University of Minnesota

Master of Arts in Comparative International Development Education, University of Minnesota

Master of Science in Scientific and Technical Communication, University of Minnesota

Master of Business Administration, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, University of Kelaniya

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Gertrude Hewapathirana

Gertrude Hewapathirana, PhD

Forbes School of Business®


"It is my goal that continuous research will enrich my teaching."

Gertrude Hewapathirana is an Associate Professor in the Forbes School of Business at Ashford University. She received her Ph.D., MA and MSc from the University of Minnesota, where she was a Fulbright Scholar and a Hubert Humphrey Fellow. During her tenure there, she completed Mid-Career Executive Development Program and specialized in International Business and Marketing. Her focus was developing global entrepreneurship and business networks. She also completed an MA in Comparative International Development Education and MSc in Scientific and Technical Communication at the University of Minnesota. Her MBA and BA in Economics are from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. She has two postgraduate diplomas in Economics and Urban Development from the University of Colombo and University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka and was specially trained in teaching International Entrepreneurship and Global Business at the University of the Philippines, the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and the International Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development in India. Additionally, she has completed training on Leadership, Human Resource Management, and Small Business Development in India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Germany and the United States.

Prior to Ashford took place in her home country of Sri Lanka, where she worked as a Researcher at the United Nations, Managing Director of the Business Management Bureau, Project Director of Agromart Foundation, Deputy Executive Director of the Business Development Center, and Statistical Officer of the Industrial Development Board. She also taught entrepreneurship, small business development, and business courses in Sri Lanka. After moving to the United States in 2000, she studied, researched, and taught in Minnesota and was an Assistant Professor of Human Resources Management for three years at Suffolk University.

“I enjoy teaching International Business and Human Resource Management courses at Ashford University. I am excited to share my passion and experience with my students and colleagues.”

Her research areas include International Business and Entrepreneurship, Organizational Leadership, International Human Resource Development, Organizational Development, Management and Employee Motivation. She has published a book, many book chapters, and several peer-reviewed journal articles and book reviews, and her conference presentations exceed two dozen. “It is my goal that continuous research will enrich my teaching.” Her advice to students is as follows: “Be a life-long learner, develop your intellectual curiosity, explore the world, respect diversity, travel, and immerse in different cultures. Enjoy being a global citizen.”

See Dr. Hewapathirana describe Ashford's Bachelor of Arts in International Business, a program she teaches courses in.


Dr. Gertrude Hewapathirana was selected as the top 5% best professors and received many kudos for her excellent teaching and her dedication to help students.

Drs. Gertrude Hewapathira, Assistant Professor, and Nils Jonas Ohrberg, Assistant Professor, Forbes School of Business presented “An assessment of business competency needs: US business managers’ suggestions for business educators to prepare future global leaders” at the IACBE Conference in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Gertrude Hewapathirana, Assistant Professor, Forbes School of Business will present two of her research papers at the 2017 AHRD International Conference in the Americas in March 2017 in Texas. She also authored: The Evolution of HRD Philosophy, Players and Practices in Sri Lanka and Research Horizons: Scale Assessment and Guidelines for Evaluating Scale Efficacy. Additionally, she co-authored a paper with Dr. Mauvalyn Bowen, Assistant Professor, Forbes School of Business: The paper was entitled Using Online Modality of Teaching for Post-Secondary Education: Engaging in the Learning Community.