Sri Lanka executive named Toastmasters International President

Balraj Arunasalam becomes leader of global educational organization

Balraj Arunasalam, Toastmasters 2017-2018 International President (PRNewsfoto/Toastmasters International)

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Balraj Arunasalam, of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, is the new International President of Toastmasters International, the world’s leading organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development. Arunasalam assumed the one-year term at the organization’s 86th annual International Convention, held Aug. 23-26 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Arunasalam is chairman/managing director of Gemtrans Engineering Company, a maker of industrial belts. Active in his community, he serves as President of the Iyyappan Temple management board, as Vice President of the Aarunadu Velalar Society of Sri Lanka, and is a member of both the local Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club.

In 2011, Arunasalam helped establish an English course for Rural Voices Unlimited, a project designed to educate youth in rural Sri Lanka. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo recognized him for this ongoing work with youth.  Arunasalam holds an advanced level General Certificate of Education from Trinity College in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and is earning a master’s degree through the Australian Institute of Business Administration.

A dedicated Toastmaster for 28 years, Arunasalam is a member of two clubs, including his home club Colombo Toastmasters. A distinguished leader, Arunasalam has held numerous offices from club through international level:  He served as International Director 2011 to 2013, Second Vice President 2014-2015, First Vice-President 2015-2016 and Toastmasters President-Elect 2016-2017. He holds the Distinguished Toastmaster designation—the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters International.

“Toastmasters is a way of life,” Arunasalam says. “It helped me understand the philosophy of leadership, to give and receive respect, and to be humble.”

As International President, Arunasalam is the highest ranked officer on the Toastmasters Board of Directors. He joins the following newly elected officers on the Toastmasters International 2017-2018 Executive Committee:

  • Lark Doley of Jonestown, Texas —International President-elect
  • Deepak Menon of New Delhi, India —First Vice President
  • Richard Peck of Seymour, Conn. —Second Vice President