Venerable Piyatissa Maha Thero (1929 – 2019) ordained in 1941 and he received his higher ordination in 1950. After obtaining his Royal Pundit degree followed with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, he served as a teacher at the Central College, Polgahawela and Ananda College, Colombo, Sri Lanka for several years before proceeding to the United Kingdom on Buddhist missionary work in 1972.
He came to New York in 1981, being appointed as the President of the American-Sri Lanka Buddhist Association, Inc. In addition, He became the founder and President of New York Buddhist Council, President of Sri Lanka Sangha Council, Vice president of the World Sangha Council of North America, Executive Committee Member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace and a Faculty Member of the New School University in Manhattan, New York City. He has authored several books in Sinhala and in English.