Dignitaries/Speakers

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Dignitaries

Brigadier David Arthur Granger, MSM, MSS, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Brigadier David Granger was sworn in as the ninth President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on 16th May 2015. He was educated at the University of Guyana, the University of the West Indies and the University of Maryland and attended courses at the University of California; the National Defense University and the Joint Special Operations University. Brigadier Granger is a former Commander of the Guyana Defence Force and National Security Adviser to the President. He received his military training at the Mons Officer Cadet School and the School of Infantry in the United Kingdom, the Jungle Warfare Instruction Centre in Brazil, and the Army Command and Staff College in Nigeria. He was elected to the presidencies of the History Society, Guyana Heritage Society, University of Guyana Guild of Graduates and the Guyana Chess Federation. He was also formerly a member of the University of Guyana Council, Association of Caribbean Historians, Caribbean Studies Association, Guyana Press Association, Guyana Book Foundation, Guyana Legion and the Guyana Veterans Foundation.  Brigadier Granger is the author of several books including National Defence: A Small State in the Subordinate System; Caribbean Geopolitics: Security, Stability and Sovereignty in Small States; Public Security: Criminal Violence and Policing in Guyana, and Public Policy: The Crisis of Governance in Guyana. His academic awards include the President’s Medal; Dennis Irvine Prize; Council of the University Prize; Elsa Goveia Medal of Excellence; Guy de Weever History Prize and the Earl Attlee History Prize from the University of Guyana. His military awards include the Efficiency Medal, the Military Service Medal and the Military Service Star for distinguished military service.


Ms Katalaina Sapolu, Director - Governance & Peace Directorate of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Katalaina SapoluMs Katalaina Sapolu is the Director of the Governance & Peace Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat, responsible for political affairs, human rights, public sector governance, and the rule of law (including the newly-established Office for Civil and Criminal Justice Reform). Katalaina was Conference Secretary for the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and will hold the same position for the forthcoming CHOGM in Rwanda in 2020. She practiced law as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand and Samoa for 16 years before starting an international career, during which she was Head of Justice at the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Chief Legal Counsel for the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States based in Brussels. Ms Sapolu holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree with Merit specialising in Public International Law from Queen Mary, University of London; a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand; and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia. 
 

Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, President of the CAPAM Board of Directors and former Chief Secretary to the Government, Malaysia

Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa was appointed Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia from June 2012 to August 2018. He started his career in the Administrative and Diplomatic Service as Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 1981. He also served the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department until 2009. At the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa held the positions of Director of Distribution Division, and Deputy Director-General of the National Transformation and Advancement Programme before being appointed as Director-General of Public-Private Partnerships Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department on April 22, 2009. He holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Economics at Oklahoma State University.
 

Mr Vincent Alexander, Chairman of the Board, National Accreditation Council, GuyanaMr Vincent Alexander, Chairman of the Board, National Accreditation Council, Guyana

Mr Vincent Alexander is the holder of a Master of Law degree and a Post Graduate diploma in Legislative Drafting. His entire working career has been in the Public Sector: six years as an academic and over twenty one as a senior administrator, including six as the Registrar of the University of Guyana. In addition, he has served as Technical Facilitator to the Minister of Education and currently serves as Technical Facilitator to the Minister of the Public Service. His research undertakings have been primarily in the sphere of local government/decentralisation and are epitomized in his co-authorship of The Framework for Local Government and Local Governance in the English-speaking Caribbean. He has also been actively involved in politics and has served as a Parliamentarian. In the arena of public service, he has served on various commissions, boards and NGOs: Constitution Reform Commission, Task Force for Local Government Reform and Commission of Inquiry into the Education System, to name a few. He is currently serving as President of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education and Chairman of the National Accreditation Council of Guyana, inter alia.

Speakers

 

Ing Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS), GhanaIng Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS), Ghana

Ing Dr Nana Ato Arthur is a professional engineer, development planner and an expert in governance and public policy with over 20 years’ experience. Currently, Dr Nana Ato Arthur is the Head of the Office of the Head of the Local Government Service (OHLGS), Ghana. Prior to his current position, he served as a Member of Parliament in the 6thParliament of Ghana (Jan 2013-Jan 2017). From May 2005 to April 2006, he was the Deputy Central Regional Minister and became the substantive Central Regional Minister from May 2006 to January 2009. He also served as the Municipal Chief Executive (Mayor) for the KEEA Municipality from May 2001 to April 2005 and the Vice President of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG). Dr Nana Ato Arthur is one of the leading experts on decentralization and local governance in Ghana. He holds a PhD in Development studies.

 

Rear Admiral (Rtd) Gary Anthony Rodwell BestRear Admiral (Rtd) Gary Anthony Rodwell Best, MSS, Former Presidential Advisor on the Environment, Guyana

Mr Gary A R Best is a retired Rear Admiral and an Attorney-at-Law who served as Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force. He is the former Presidential Advisor on the Environment, the National Designated Authority to the Climate Technology Centre and network, and current Chair of the National Technology Needs Assessment Committee. He holds an MSc LLB, LLM, LEC and training in Climate and Renewable Energy Finance. Rear Admiral Best is also an alumnus of the National Defence University (USA) and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He is the Managing Partner of the LIRDS Think Tank Group, which is dedicated to academic research, and a past columnist with the Guyana Chronicle on Green Economy matters. In addition, Rear Admiral Best has presented several academic papers at conferences hosted by the Institute of International Relations – University of the West Indies; the University of Guyana and the LIRDS Think Tank Group; the University of Havana and the Australian National University. His research area includes adaptation financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the green economy agenda.
 

Mr Joseph F. Caruana, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, MaltaMr Joseph F. Caruana, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Malta

Mr Joseph Caruana was born in Marsaxlokk on the 2nd May 1961. He graduated from the University of Malta with a B.A. Honours in Public Administration in 1985 and a Masters in Business Administration (Executive) with distinction in November 2001. Mr Caruana joined the Public Service as a student-worker in 1980 and in 1985 was appointed Principal Officer in charge of the Land Department’s Revenue Collection function. In 1996 he was appointed Senior Principal and in the same year he was given the additional role of IT Projects Coordinator for the Land Department and the Estate Management Department. In October 1999 he was appointed Director of the Estate Management Department within the Government Property Division. In November 2008 Mr Caruana was assigned the role of Director General Operations in the Office of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport & Communications and also served as a Director of the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation. Mr Caruana was appointed Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change in July 2013. He is also a member of the Sustainable Development Network Board and Chairman of the Eco-Contribution Approving Body.
 

Ms Gabriella Cassola, Deputy Director, Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence, MaltaMs Gabriella Cassola, Deputy Director, Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence, Malta

Ms Cassola holds a Masters in Project Management and is a certified Project Manager. Her portfolio includes projects in the fields of environment, transport, and logistics, including setting up the first e-mobility fleet and charging network for the Government in Malta, between 2011 and 2016.  For the last year, she has been heading the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence as a joint-venture between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, in Malta.
 

Mrs Janelle Christian Head of Office, Office of Climate Change, GuyanaMrs Janelle Christian, Head of Office, Office of Climate Change, Guyana

Mrs Janelle Christian, took up the position as Head of the Office of Climate Change (OCC) in December 2015. Prior to joining the OCC, she worked for six (6) years with the Inter-American Development Bank and has over fifteen (15) years Project Management experience. She has also served as Part-Time Lecturer for several years at the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Studies, University of Guyana. She has a wealth of experience working in the field of development in Guyana and the Caribbean. Mrs Christian holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Studies and Masters Degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of the West Indies.
 

Dr Jeannine Comma, former Chief Executive Officer, Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, University of the West Indies (Retired), BarbadosDr Jeannine Comma, former Chief Executive Officer, Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, University of the West Indies (Retired), Barbados

For over 22 years, Dr Jeannine Comma had led the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management/The University of the West Indies as Chief Executive Officer. Dr Comma is a graduate of the George Washington University in Washington D.C. and of the University of the Virgin Islands. Her academic background paired with wide-ranging experience in both the private and public sector has developed her into an expert in organisational development, strategic planning, project management, quality management and corporate governance. Furthermore, her work has allowed her to facilitate executive leadership retreats and workshops for boards of directors centring on leadership development and transformation management. Dr Comma has been a member of the Board of Directors for several prominent organisations in Barbados: Sagicor Financial Corporation, Sagicor Life Inc., The National Initiative for Service Excellence, the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. and the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation. Furthermore, her career has allowed her to share her knowledge on a global scale with presentations at conferences and leading workshops in Singapore, Delhi, Morocco, South Africa, Ghana, England, Canada and the Caribbean. Her prior management experiences include Illuminat and the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) and she has lectured at universities in North America and the Caribbean.
 

Mr Mario Cutajar Principal Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, Government of MaltaMr Mario Cutajar, Principal Permanent Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet, Malta

Mr Cutajar studied in Universities both in Malta and the United Kingdom where he graduated in social studies and management. He started his career in the public service in 1976 and worked in government departments, ministries, public entities and the private sector. For a number of years he was also a General Workers’ Union official being elected as Deputy General Secretary until he resigned from the post in 2002. He held top management posts in Heritage Malta and within the private sector. Mr Cutajar was appointed Cabinet Secretary in March 2013 and also Principal Permanent Secretary in the following month. Mr Cutajar published a number of books with a history background.
 

Ambassador Mercy Debrah-Karikari, Secretary to the Cabinet, Republic of GhanaAmbassador Mercy Debrah-Karikari, Secretary to the Cabinet, Ghana

Ambassador Mercy Debrah-Karikari was appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana as Secretary to the Cabinet in February 2017, and is the country’s first female Cabinet Secretary. Until her appointment, Ambassador Debrah-Karikari, who is a career diplomat, was Ghana’s High Commissioner to Australia, with concurrent accreditation to New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other countries in the Pacific region. She joined the Ghana Foreign Ministry in 1987 and has served in the Ghana Embassies in Luanda, Angola, New York, Berlin and Geneva. Ambassador Debrah-Karikari holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Ghana, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Ms Emma Doyle MPA Connect Coordinator, Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries InstituteMs Emma Doyle, MPA Connect Coordinator, Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

Ms Emma Doyle is an environmental management professional with more than 10 years’ experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean. Emma studied coastal zone management at Sydney University and has a Master of Science in urban environmental management from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Emma works in support of capacity building for marine protected area management for the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM) and the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI). She is also Advisor to the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) on biodiversity monitoring. In her current role, Emma has been working with the Australia Caribbean Coral Reef Collaboration to facilitate the sharing of experience between MPA mangers and to promote the adoption of best MPA management practices.
 

Mr K.V. Eapen, Secretary of the Departments of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, Government of IndiaMr K.V. Eapen, Secretary of the Departments of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, India

Mr K.V. Eapen is a senior officer of the Indian Administrative Service(IAS)with over 34 years’ experience in public service. He is the Secretary of the Departments of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, Government of India and has held the charge of Secretary of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation. Mr Eapen has also worked as Senior Adviser to the Executive Director at the International Monetary fund (IMF), in Washington where he represented India in the G20 International Financial Architecture Working Group and has been an Alternate Deputy in the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF. He possesses a Master degree (M Sc) in Macro-Economic Policy & Planning in Developing Countries from University of Bradford, United Kingdom; Master of Arts in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, India; Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management & Policy from Management Development Institute, India; Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Economics from St. Stephen College, Delhi, India.
 

Denise FraserMrs Denise Fraser, Commissioner, Protected Areas Commission, Guyana

Mrs Denise Fraser has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Stirling University, Scotland, United Kingdom as well as extensive experience in environmental management in both the public and private sectors.  She has worked as the Operations Director at the Environmental Protection Agency of Guyana during its early years where she was instrumental in development of the Agency’s environmental procedures, guidelines and manuals.  Mrs Fraser has also worked as a Consultant with clients from private sector and international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Guyana. In the wake of the unprecedented floods of 2005 in Guyana, she was involved in recovery projects as well as managing National Disaster Risk Management projects funded by UNDP and IDB.  In 2012, Mrs Fraser joined the newly established Protected Areas Commission (PAC) as Deputy Commissioner with oversight over the administrative and technical management of the Commission.  She was formally appointed as Commissioner in June 2017.
 

Ivelaw GriffithProf Ivelaw Griffith, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana

Appointed Tenth Vice Chancellor and Principal of The University of Guyana in June 2016, Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith served earlier as Executive-in-Residence at The University at Albany, State University of New York, Ninth President of Fort Valley State University in Georgia, provost and senior vice president at York College in New York, provost at Radford University in Virginia, budget dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University (FIU), and dean of The Honors College at FIU. An expert on Caribbean and hemispheric security, drugs and crime, he has published seven books and more than 50 academic and policy articles.  He was awarded the Cacique Crown of Honour in 2017 for Excellence in International Scholarship and Transformational Education Leadershipon the occasion of the 51st Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence, and the William J. Perry Award in 2015 for Excellence in Security and Defense Education, named in honour of former US Defense Secretary Dr. William J. Perry. He and his wife of three decades have two adult children and one grandchild.
 

Mr Rajeev Issar, Policy Specialist (Disaster and Climate Risk Governance), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)Mr Rajeev Issar, Policy Specialist (Disaster and Climate Risk Governance), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

In his current role, Mr Rajeev Issar focuses on formulating institutional, governance, policy and programmatic frameworks for disaster and climate risk management and supporting integration of these management concerns in the sustainable development agenda. Rajeev has contributed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Climate Agreement and the New Urban Agenda from DRR and CC perspectives. He has also conducted disaster and climate risk analyses and impact assessments from different time thresholds for climate sensitive development sectors under the Climate Risk Management-Technical Assistance Support Project (CRM-TASP). Rajeev has extensive experience and in-depth understanding of urban CC resilience with focus on analysis of urban development processes, systems, resources and capacities for promoting urban resilience. Before joining UNDP, Rajeev has worked with the Government of India in various positions handling issues related to democratic governance, policymaking, internal security and disaster risk management.
 

Dr John-Mary KauzyaDr John-Mary Kauzya, Chief of Public Service Innovation Branch, United Nations (UN)

Dr John-Mary Kauzya is Chief of Public Service Innovation Branch at the UN.  He taught at Makerere University and worked as the Deputy Director of the Uganda Management Institute and as an International Adviser in Africa in various fields of public governance, including public sector leadership capacity development.  He holds a PhD from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne. Following the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), his work has focused on transformational leadership, mindset change, public service competences, creativity and innovation in the public sector.  He is a member of the Commission on International Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training Programs. He has supervised the UN Public Service Awards since its inception in 2003. He was awarded with the O.P DWIVEDI AWARD 2014 by IASIA for Outstanding Contribution to Public Administration and Public Policy in the World. He has widely published in various areas of governance and public administration.
 

Jennifer Kroeker-HallMs Jennifer Kroeker-Hall, PhD (c) University of Victoria, and CEO of Sirius Strategic Solutions Ltd., Canada

Ms Kroeker-Hall’s expertise has been developed through a varied career in the public sector with forays into the academic, political, private and non-profit arenas.  She has extensive experience in policy research and development; planning; organisational development; government relations; and community/stakeholder engagement. Ms Kroeker-Hall brings expertise in non-profit, private and public sector governance with work and research focused in numerous areas such as justice, road and public safety; regulatory reform; and, governance at the intersection of private, public and non-profit arenas. She has taught criminology at the post-secondary level and is currently involved in research and teaching at the University of Victoria in the School of Public Administration.  She has presented her work and ideas at conferences around the globe. 
 

Dr David LeeDr David Lee, Environment Specialist, Caribbean Leadership Project

Dr Lee has over twenty five years of experience in environmental management which includes experience in the protection of biodiversity, project management and planning, environmental impact assessments, environmental standards (ISO14000), environmental audits, waste treatment, air quality assessments, natural resources management, environmental laws and policy, hazardous material handling, and toxic waste disposal. He is an aquatic ecologist with a Ph.D. in Applied Biology from the University of Cambridge, which was done while a recipient of a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship.  He also received a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree from the University of the West Indies.  He has produced several scientific and technical publications.As an environmental consultant he has worked on a variety of industrial, agricultural, housing, highway infrastructure, water, port infrastructure, and tourism projects across the Caribbean.  He has worked on FAO, World Bank, GEF, IADB, European Union, UNEP and UNDP environmental projects both in Jamaica and within the Caribbean Region.
 

Dr Vyju LopezDr Vyjayanthi (Vyju) Lopez, Plant Production and Protection Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization’s Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean (FAO-SLC)

Dr Vyjayanthi (Vyju) Lopez is based at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean (FAO-SLC). In her substantive capacity as Plant Production and Protection Officer, she assists FAO Member States in the formulation and implementation of relevant strategies and programmes. Vyju is the Sub-region’s focal point for Strategic Programme-2, which deals with making Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries more productive and sustainable; as well as for Gender; Food Safety and Food Loss and Waste Reduction. She also serves as the FAO Representative (ad interim) for St. Lucia. Vyju obtained her first degree from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, and her PhD from The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. She began her career as Research Associate at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT-India). Prior to joining the FAO in 2011, she worked as Scientific Officer at the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) and as Chief Executive Officer at the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).
 

Travis Mitchell, Head of Economic Policy and Small States, Economics Youth and Social and Sustainable Development Directorate, Commonwealth SecretariatMr Travis Mitchell, Head of Economic Policy and Small States, Economics Youth and Social and Sustainable Development Directorate, Commonwealth Secretariat 

Mr Travis Mitchell is Head of Economic Policy and Small States  at the Commonwealth Secretariat where he manages programmes aimed at building economic and environmental resilience in small developing countries.  Issues he covers includes debt sustainability, economic and environmental resilience, financial regulation and aid.  Before this he served as Economic Adviser in the Economics Affairs Division (EAD) at the Commonwealth Secretariat, where he led work on debt sustainability, aid reform and international financial institutions financing.   Previously he worked as Economist at the European Union where he managed the Budget Support Programmes of the British Overseas Countries and Territories, which involved economic analysis , policy dialogue with Ministries of Finance and Ministries of Economic Development, drafting and implementation of performance assessment frameworks as well as monitoring and assessment of progress of the development agendas.  Mr Mitchell also held the position of Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Barbados where he was heavily involved in economic forecasting and econometric research, monetary policy implementation and contributing to public sector policy papers.  Mr. Mitchell holds a Master of Science from the University of Warwick and Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of the West Indies also in Economics.  He is currently completing a PhD Economics at Keele University, U.K.
 

Guillermo Montt Mr Guillermo Montt, Senior Economist at the Research Department, International Labour Organization (ILO) 

Since 2016, Mr Guillermo Montt is Senior Economist at the Research Department of the International Labour Organization (ILO). He leads research on the relationship between employment, decent work and the transition to a green economy. Prior to joining the ILO, Guillermo worked for the OECD at the Directorate for Education and Skills and the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. A Chilean national, he holds a PhD. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame.
 

Prof Suresh Narine Departments of Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry, Trent UniversityProf Suresh Narine, Departments of Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry, Trent University, Canada

Professor Suresh Narine was named in 2011 as one of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40” leaders and is a world-renowned scientist, businessman, serial entrepreneur and civil servant. He is considered among the world’s leading figures in the generation and commercialisation of green technologies. As Director of Guyana’s Institute of Applied Science and Technology, he is the driving force behind collaboration with Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples, which combines Indigenous Knowledges, Science and Sustainable Commercialization.  His work has led to the establishment of nationally known brands such as Rupununi Essence, Pakaraima Flavours and the Morning Glory Breakfast Cereals.  Now a senior Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Chemistry at Trent University in Canada, where he received the Distinguished Researcher Award in 2016, Narine is also a laureate of the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence in Science and Technology (2015).  He is also the Executive Chairman of CGX Energy Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Gabriel Juma OkumuMr Gabriel Juma Okumu, Deputy Director Governance and PhD student at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Kenya

Mr Juma holds a Master of Education Degree in Planning and Economics of Education from Maseno University, (2004), and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Moi University, (1992). In March 2004, the Kenya Public Service Commission appointed him Chief Examinations Officer where he rose through the ranks to the position of Director Examinations. In 2013, Mr Juma was appointed Deputy Director Training and Development, and later redeployed to head the Governance Unit in the Compliance and Quality Assurance (C&QA) Directorate in April 2016. He has published various papers in renowned journals, attended and presented papers in various local and international conferences in Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, and received various commendations. Mr Juma is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Leadership and Business Administration at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.
 

Dr Lois Parkes Dr Lois Parkes, Regional Project Manager, Caribbean Leadership Project

Dr Lois Parkes is currently the Regional Project Manager with the Caribbean Leadership Project since January 2016. Prior to that, she served for over 20 years in the Jamaican Public Service in varying capacities, including Chief Technical Director, Strategic HR, and Chief Personnel Officer in the Office of the Services Commissions. She has been integrally involved in a number of public sector transformation initiatives since 1999, including the establishment of the output-focused Performance Management and Appraisal System for the Public Sector, and the decentralisation of several HR functions. She holds a PhD in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations at the Victoria University of Wellington. Dr Parkes is also a published researcher, and included in her publications is “Gender: The Not-So-Hidden Issue in Language Arts Materials Used in Jamaica” in Caribbean Journal of Education, Vol. 17, No. 2, September 1995, along with numerous conference papers on reform and vocational education.
 

Mr Melbour Phillip, Technical Coordinator, Technical Action Services Unit (TASU), CARICOM SecretariatMr Melbour Phillip, Technical Coordinator, Technical Action Services Unit (TASU), CARICOM Secretariat

Mr Melbour Phillip is Technical Coordinator at the Technical Action Services Unit (TASU) of the CARICOM Secretariat, which is responsible for building capacity in member states to facilitate implementation of regional decisions. Prior to this, he was a business consultant at the Economic Development Unit of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS/EDU) where he provided support to small and medium-sized firms to increase their competitiveness. He has also worked in several government ministries and agencies, as well as private sector institutions in Dominica. Mr Phillip has a wealth of experience in capacity building, project management, entrepreneurship development, small business management, marketing, team building and training. Melbour has postgraduate degrees in Environmental Impact Assessment and Evaluation (MSc EIAE) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and in Business Administration (MBA) from the Cochin University of Science and Technology. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Aligarh Muslim University.
 

HE Satyendra PrasadHE Satyendra Prasad, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Fiji to the United Nations

From 2016 until his latest appointment, Mr Prasad was the Chief Executive Officer of the Papua New Guinea Governance Facility.  Before that, he served as Senior Governance Adviser at the World Bank between 2009 and 2016, Governance Adviser at the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development from 2003 to 2009, and Commissioner of Fiji’s Public Service Commission from 1998 until 2000. Between 2001 and 2003, Mr. Prasad was an associate professor of international management at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan, having previously been a senior lecturer and head of department at the University of South Pacific between 1987 and 2000, and a lecturer in development studies at University College in Cork, Ireland, from 1995 to 1996. Mr Prasad holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Pacific, a master’s degree in sociology from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and a PhD in the same field from Warwick University in the United Kingdom. Dr Prasad has designed and managed public sector-economic governance, centre of government, decentralisation and public financial management modernisation programs in Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, India, Fiji, PNG, Albania, Armenia and several other countries.
 

Dianna Rajcumar Ms Dianna Rajcumar, Personal Assistant to the Minister of Public Security, Guyana 

Ms Dianna Rajcumar's professional interface with public administration spans more than a decade. Dianna’s public service career began at the Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then as a regional public servant at the CARICOM Secretariat. Dianna’s expertise in policy and governance is advanced with a BSc International Relations (University of Guyana, 2008); and post graduate studies - Graduate Diploma in Public Administration; Masters in Public Policy and Masters in Diplomacy (Australian National University, 2014-2016) as a recipient of the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarship. Dianna is positioned as the Personal Assistant to the Minister of Public Security, Government of Guyana with competencies in policy formulation, research methodologies, programme management, participatory approach to governance and diplomacy.
 

Mary Rodrigues, Chief Advisor, Strategic Reforms, Cayman IslandsMs Mary Rodrigues, Chief Advisor, Strategic Reforms, Cayman Islands 

Ms Rodrigues serves as the newly-appointed Chief Advisor to the Hon Deputy Governor, on strategic reforms within the Cayman Islands Public Service. She is the Executive Sponsor for Project Future, a new, major reform project, and is responsible for establishing and leading a new Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit. During her 28 years within the civil service, Ms Rodrigues has held two Chief Officer positions and has led initiatives such as the establishment of the Civil Service College, the National Workforce Development Agency, Passport2Success (an employment initiative), the restructuring of the government secondary education system, the development of a Strategic Plan of Education and a range of other reforms, which have translated into dramatic year-on-year improvements in student performance in externally accredited school-leaving examinations, since 2009. Ms Rodrigues was also a founding member for a local inspections unit, and later served as Chief Inspector of Schools.
 

Mr Devon Rowe, Executive Director, Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD)Mr Devon Rowe, Executive Director, Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) 

Mr Devon L. Rowe is currently the Executive Director of CARICAD.   In 2014 he was acknowledged for his work and contribution to public service by the Government of Jamaica and received the Order of Distinction, Commander Rank. His career has spanned varying government organisations and he has represented the Jamaican government at several international high-level meetings, including meetings with the International Monetary Fund that resulted in the now successfully concluded Extended Fund Facility. Through Mr Rowe’s efforts and coordination, several fiscal policy initiatives have been implemented. A career public servant, he has had senior level appointments, including Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Environment and Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning. He served as a board member of several public sector companies in investment, development finance, infrastructure, and health. He is the holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of the West Indies, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
 

Diana RuizMs Diana Ruiz, Science Officer, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre 

Ms Diana Ruiz is a Science Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) where she focuses on improving knowledge and capacity building of individuals in the Caribbean region. She delivers training workshops on climate-monitoring tools that are developed by the Centre in partnership with key stakeholders. An integral component of Ms Ruiz’s work is to dialogue with senior-level decision makers to secure the integration of climate resilience into national decision-making processes. Ms Ruiz has volunteered and participated in several environmental-related initiatives. Recognising the impact of climate change in the Caribbean, she pursued a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

Ms ​Margaret Saner CBE Former Vice Chair of the Committee of Experts on Public AdministrationMs ​Margaret Saner CBE, Former Chair of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration 

Ms Margaret Saner CBE is an independent adviser specialising in Governance, Leadership, Change and Institution Building. Recent assignments include a diagnostic review of a public service in the Caribbean.  In her career in the UK Civil Service, Margaret led a number of service-wide initiatives in the UK and worked extensively with other governments, including a loan to the Government of Kenya. She supported the Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in the UK in establishing cross-government accountability for results. Margaret founded the Sunningdale Institute and is a former Chief Executive of the Civil Service College. She is also a former Director at CAPAM. Margaret completed eight years as a member of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) in 2017, and was a former President of CEPA.
 

Ms Ndibi SchwiersMs Ndibi Schwiers, Director, Department of Environment, Guyana 

Ms Schwiers is a supporter of the concept of sustainable development as an enabler of prosperity and a driver of poverty reduction.  She currently holds the portfolio of Director of the Department of Environment.  In this capacity, she is responsible for coordinating the development of Guyana’s 20-year sustainable development plan - The Green State Development Strategy. Further, she is responsible for coordinating and integrating the efforts of government agencies with an environmental mandate to improve Guyana’s national capacity for sustainable management of the environment in line with Guyana’s Green Agenda. Before becoming the Director of Environment, Ms Schwiers worked as an Advisor to the Minister of State and in various technical capacities including as Environmental Consultant, Waste Management Advisor, and Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Pollution Management from the University of Guyana and the University of Bradford respectively.
 

Dr Gilles Seutin, Chief Scientist, Parks CanadaDr Gilles Seutin, Chief Scientist, Parks Canada 

Dr Gilles Seutin is Chief Scientist at Parks Canada. His team provides strategic advice and scientific analyses to senior managers on current and emerging science issues of national significance in support of the establishment and management of protected areas. Current efforts focus on science policy, conservation network design (for ecosystem representation, connectivity, etc.), climate change adaptation, and wildlife health. Gilles works with other Canadian government departments and international partners on global conservation priorities, including the identification of future goals and targets under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.  Gilles has worked on a broad range of biological and sustainable use issues, in environments as diverse as the high arctic and Neotropical rainforests.
 

Dr David SinghDr David Singh, Vice President & Executive Director, Conservation International – Guyana Foundation 

Dr David Singh is Executive Director (2008-2012) and Vice President (from 2012) of Conservation International – Guyana Foundation. He has led the programme through its change in mission, and in supporting the Government of Guyana in its creation of a low carbon, green economy of which conservation of natural capital forms the main pillar of national development strategies. David has worked extensively in conservation, policy and environmental decision making. Starting as Director of Resource Management in 2003, he was appointed as the first Guyanese Director General of the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development where he was responsible for piloting the institution into a new phase of business development, research, forest certification, and community shareholding relationship. He served as inaugural Chair of the Guyana Environmental Assessment Board, Director of Environmental Management at the Guyana Environmental Protection Agency, and National Coordinator for Science and Technology. He was also a senior lecturer at the University of Guyana.
 

Dr Douglas Wilbert Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Directorate of Human and Social Development, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) SecretariatDr Douglas Wilbert Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Directorate of Human and Social Development, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat 

Dr Douglas Wilbert Slater, became the Assistant Secretary-General, Directorate of Human and Social Development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat on 1 October 2013. A national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a Medical Doctor by profession, Dr Slater was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Consumer Affairs, St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 2010-2013. Dr Slater served in several other offices for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean Development Bank and Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Authorities.  He was Minister of Health and the Environment, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, CARICOM Minister of Health, and Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States/Regional Coordination Mechanism. He chaired the Executive Committee of PAHO and helped establish the Caribbean Public Health Agency and was Disaster Coordinator for the Ministry of Health within the National Disaster Management System. Dr Slater is a Public Health Physician and focal point person for HIV/AIDS. He was also honoured by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat as one of the CARICOM’s first Champions for Change.
 

Dr Rahel SteinbachDr Rahel Steinbach, Programme Specialist on Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Action with UN Women 

Dr Rahel Steinbach is an international development practitioner with expertise in disaster risk reduction, resilience, climate change, humanitarian action, gender equality and women’s empowerment. For the past 18 years, she has been working with multilateral and bilateral organizations, governments, civil society, academia and private sector entities in more than 120 countries with a holistic focus on socio-economic and sustainable development issues. As an advocate for sustainable development and gender equality she has lectured at Oxford University, Vienna University, ISEG and the American Graduate School in Paris. Dr Steinbach holds a PhD in Sustainable Development from the University of Vienna, Austria, a Master’s degree in Political Science from Sciences Po, Aix-en-Provence, France and a Master of Advanced International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria.
 

Mikiko TanakaMs Mikiko Tanaka, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guyana 

Ms Mikiko Tanaka has been the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana since August 2016. Prior to this, she has worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Yemen, Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Benin, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Ms Tanaka holds a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Communication from International Christian University, Japan, a Master of Rural Development Management from Khon Kaen University, Thailand and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from the University of London, England.
 

Eraina Desiree YawMs Eraina Desiree Yaw, National Project Coordinator for the Caribbean, International Organization for Migration (IOM) 

Ms Yaw graduated from the University of Guyana in November 2005 with a Bachelors of Social Science Degree in Social Work. She also obtained her Post-Graduate Diploma in the Faculty of Education in Administration and Teaching in 2008. She worked at EveryChild Guyana for 12 years as a Child Protection & Rights Trainer and Coordinator.  She worked as a consultant in 2009 on child rights and migration issues with IOM and then became Project Manager on Diaspora Engagement and Border Management Projects for IOM. In 2017, Ms Yaw acquired the position of National Project Coordinator for the Caribbean with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - the United Nations (UN) Migration Agency in Guyana. She works closely with governments within the Caribbean to implement regional and national projects to support humane and orderly migration management.