Dato Anusha Santhirasthipam
Profile Corporate & International Relations
Anusha is recognised worldwide as a global voice for human rights, gender equality, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Often cited as a “champion of the underdog’ and “reformist” lawyer, Anusha’s legal career focused on mergers, restructuring and acquisitions of companies with sub-specialisations in public flotation and minority shareholder protection, compulsory land acquisition compensation and consumer protection.
Anusha is Malaysia’s pioneer of investor relations and corporate governance since early 1990s combining her career skills in law, finance and corporate communications to advise and coach the Boards of Directors of public listed companies in Asia.
Anusha was bestowed the honorific title of Dato in 2001 for her outstanding national contributions to develop Malaysia’s capital market, establish securities market reforms and pioneer investor relations to strengthen corporate governance of public companies listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange.
In 2003, Anusha was awarded Ambassador of Peace for her work in the field of peace-building and inter-faith community relations. A Barrister-at-law from United Kingdom and post-graduate double major in Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Conflict Negotiation from the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Canada.
Since the advent of SDGs in 2015, Anusha advises and monitors SDG implementation by GLCs and PLCs through effective CSR programmes. She is Founder & CEO of Buddi Tree Group of companies that nurtures social capital and develops social enterprises from the root up.
As a social activist, Anusha has created several award-winning grant funded programmes to alleviate poverty and ensure socio-economic empowerment of women and their families. These social impact innovation programmes tackle social ills and crime, solve youth unemployment, provide entrepreneurial training to B40 communities and prevent inter-communal conflict among the polarised and marginalised.
Among the projects Anusha created and founded are Kampung Ku, that won Overall Best Practice Award at SI World Convention 2003 in Sydney Australia, SEEED JobsForLife and InnovateMYCommunity that won awards and grants from the Government of Malaysia and philanthropic foundations under Social Public-Private Partnership for tackling youth unemployment by mobilising innovation and creativity to transform job seekers into job creators.
Anusha has served Soroptimist International for 27 years in capacities at all levels including as SI International Assistant Programme Director in charge of global advocacy at UN centres. She led the SI delegation to Rio+20 UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. She has coached and organised grassroots leaders to lobby and influence world leaders to agree upon the Sustainable Development Agenda and global imperatives to replace Millennium Development Goals.
Anusha has spoken at the UN General Assembly in conjunction with UN Women events on the topics of human rights, gender equality, the rights of women farmers, empowerment of rural women, elimination of all forms of violence against women and the girl child, including ending femicide and female infanticide.
She is currently Federation President of Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific with responsibility for the good governance, programmes of action in line with 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the KPIs of member chapters in countries spanning across Asia and the Pacific.