Dr Yala left the Institute on April 7, 2017 due to personal reasons.
He was Director since mid-2015 and leaves having had a 22-year association with the Institute since graduating with the University of PNG.
The NRI Council appointed Dr Sanida, who took over as Acting Director from April 10, 2017, until a permanent appointment is made.
Dr Sanida acknowledged the very important contributions of Dr Yala to the PNG NRI and the country, not only in his role as Director, but also in his time as a researcher and policy advocate.
“I wish Dr Yala well in his endeavors and going forward for the Institute, I believe in the systems and processes that have been built.
“These systems and processes continue to be improved to make PNG NRI a model public policy think tank to inquire, inform and make an influence on important public policy matters.
“This will help in the improvement of our people’s welfare, which is the mission of the Institute,” Dr Sanida said.
Dr Yala’s work in the land reform area has been pioneering coinciding with the work of the National Land Development Program since 2005.
He has contributed to various policy research, advice and commentaries on important issues.