Kumaran Nadesan is a civil servant and entrepreneur with a lengthy track record of community service. Kumaran has served in the Ontario Public Service, supporting the Government of Ontario, for more than a decade where he has held progressively senior roles at the Ministries of Government and Consumer Services, the Solicitor General, and the Attorney General in areas relating to intergovernmental affairs, business development, stakeholder management, communications, and policy and program advisory. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Konnect Communications, a bespoke strategy consultancy that works selectively with fast-growing businesses and visionary business leaders who are committed to building high value brands. Kumaran has also been an active community animator for many years. Since starting in his first volunteer role at the Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre in 2000, Kumaran has gone on to play a key role in many community efforts. In addition to several initiatives that he co-founded aimed at building long-term collective capacity of the Canadian Tamil community, Kumaran most active role is as Founding Chair of comdu.it, a global network of diaspora volunteers that focuses on mobilizing diaspora knowledge capital, responsible investments, and community networks for the sustainable development of war-impacted and vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka. In just under the last two years, Kumaran successfully led campaigns that raised more than $250,000 for various local and international causes related to education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, entrepreneurship, and COVID-19 relief efforts. He has also commented widely about the Canadian Tamil diaspora and Sri Lanka, including in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC, TVO The Agenda, Diplomatic Courier, TamilCulture, Monsoon Journal, Colombo Telegraph, Sunday Observer, Hindustan Times, and The Indian Express to name a few. For his active work in the Canadian Tamil community and broader civil society in the Greater Toronto Area, he was named a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow by the CivicAction Leadership Foundation. Kumaran has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in English and Psychology from the University of Toronto Scarborough and an Executive Certificate in Strategic Public Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University. Kumaran was born in Sri Lanka from where he left as a refugee at the age of five to India before eventually immigrating to Canada by way of the Sultanate of Oman.
comdu.it is a global network of diaspora volunteers that focuses on mobilizing diaspora knowledge capital, responsible investments, and community networks for the sustainable development of the North and East of Sri Lanka. Our mission is to help shift the next generational phase of diaspora engagement from charity to sustainability, from aid to economic development, and from sending remittance to building a knowledge economy instead.
Since 2016, comdu.it has worked with local partners on the ground to place nearly 25 (young) professionals from the global Tamil diaspora – educators, social workers, lawyers, creative artists, business and technology professionals, and urban planners to name a few – in several areas including Karainagar, Kilinochchi, Kudathanai, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Periyanilavanai, Uda
Pussellawa, Uppuveli, Uranee, Vavuniya, and Colombo. These placements cover five thematic areas: Capacity Building; Economic Empowerment; Human Rights; Leadership Development; and Psychosocial Support. Increasingly, we are pivoting towards virtual programs, social impact investing, development innovation projects, and selected humanitarian relief efforts.
Our work is acknowledged by the Canadian High Commission and the German Embassy in Sri Lanka as well as by Global Affairs Canada. We have also been featured in several Canadian media including the CBC, NOW Magazine, Toronto Star, and TVO The Agenda. Our work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors, corporate sponsors, the Government of Canada, and the Open Society Foundations.
We are registered as a not-for-profit organisation in Ontario, Canada – where we are a Charter Member of the Ontario Council for International Cooperation – and as a charitable organisation in Hamburg, Germany.
Public Sector Capacity Building