Mr. Ali Mansoor
Mr. Ali Michael Mansoor has been Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Mauritius since 2006. Mr. Mansoor was an Economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC from 1982 to 1988, and a Public Finance and Trade Economist at the World Bank, also in Washington from 1988 to 1992. Mr. Mansoor has also worked for the European Commission from 1992 to 1995. He was subsequently the Country Economist for Madagascar for the World Bank from 1995 to 1997 and then the Executive Secretary of the COMESA Clearing House, Harare, Zimbabwe from 1997 to 1999. From 2003 to 2006, he was the Lead Economist at the World Bank’s Economist Office for Europe and Central Asia Region from 2003 to 2006. He has been Director of Air Mauritius Ltd., since September 29, 2006. Mr. Mansoor holds an MSc in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics, London School of Economics, and a Master’s in Public Policy.
Mr. Amiraly Valibay
Mr Valibhay has joined Electricite de France (EDF) in 1985, working in various domains such as economical studies and information technology applied to the power system management tools.
In the European power markets, Mr Valibhay has managed the conception, development and installation of numerous market management solutions such as development of tie-lines, capacity allocation on tie-lines, dispatch and settlement special facilities.
In the International scene, Mr Valibhay worked in EDF as a Senior Consultant for foreign power utilities, in the development of control centers, interconnection feasibility studies, in setting up the unbundling.
Since 2010, Mr Valibhay is a Project Manager within the EDF Island Power System Division, in charge of the development for large and strategic projects as. For instance, the upgrade of the power interconnection between Sardinia Island (Italy) and Corsica Island (France).
Mr Valibhay holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics (1982), specialized in Statistic and Data Analysis, from University called Paul Sabatier of Toulouse (France).
Ms. Brigida Garcia Romero
Brigida Garcia Romero is a sociologist with a PhD in Social Psychology from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, and Masters degrees in “Training of Trainers and Research for Change” and “Population and Development”. She has been research associate at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), at the Center for Social and Demographic Studies (CESDEM), and at the Institute of Caribbean Studies (INEC). She was also the Director of Institutional Research at the University APEC. She is currently Professor at the School of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo and Consultant Advisor for Impact Evaluation of the experimental program “Youth and Employment” of the Ministry of Labor of the Dominican Republic. She has conducted numerous quantitative and qualitative research projects in the areas of education, migration, labor market, ethnic discrimination, among others. Among her latest publications are: Memoire of the Job Training Component, 2001-2006; Socio-demographic Survey and HIV / AIDS in the State of Bateyes (Dominican Republic), “17 Views on Racism in the Dominican Republic”, “The Racial Attitude in the Dominican Republic”, Survey of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic, Demographic and Health Survey, 2002 Population census.
Ms. Carmen Gomez-Trigg
Carmen is an Operations Officer, attached to the Advisory Services Department of International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. She currently works with the Access to Finance pillar in the English Speaking Caribbean, in the delivery of technical assistance programs to financial institutions. Carmen has worked extensively in the Caribbean, and has a keen understanding of the challenges that MSMEs face as they try to grow their businesses. She is therefore very familiar with the regional MSME landscape.
Work in IFC’s Advisory Services has been primarily with the bank and non bank financial institutions of the region, providing solutions to the challenges that they face as they try to grow their MSME portfolios. Carmen therefore has the perspective of both sides of the equation: the lender and the borrower.
Carmen is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, and has done technical programs with the Frankfurt School of Business and World Bank Institute.
Mr. David Sharpe
David joined Digicel in October 2007 and today holds the position of Director, Products and Services for Digicel Haiti. His primary role is to lead development and management of all products, services and strategy and to continue Digicel’s role in bringing innovation to Haiti.
Prior to his role in Digicel, David worked with a variety of operators between locations in Africa, United States and the Caribbean. In 2003 as Manager, Products & Solutions for Telecel International, David helped transform Fixed Operator Uganda Telecom to launch Mango Prepaid GSM, and held a key role in launching the UT ISP brand in Uganda. Other projects have included deployment of VSAT terminals in remote Africa, Wireless Broadband deployments, LAN & Network Administration, and managing logistics for all cellular infrastructure deployments from USA to Africa.
Prior to this, David served honorably for 4+ years of military service with the US Marine Corps. He brings with him more than 8 years experience in Product Development & Management within International Telecom companies, and 3 more years of IT experience previously certified as a Certified Novell Engineer and receiving a diploma in Network Administration.
Dr. Didacus Jules
Dr. Didacus Jules is currently the Registrar & Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council. He is also a Visiting Consultant with the Arthur Lok-Jack-School of Business, University of the West Indies; Chairman of the Education Commission of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Chairman of the Foundation for the Development for Caribbean Children.
Dr. Jules career has spanned the public, private and NGO sectors. He has been a Vice-President-Human Resources with Cable & Wireless; Permanent Secretary – Education & Human Resource Development in St. Lucia; the Inter-Regional Coordinator of the International Literacy Support Service (ILSS); Resident Consultant to the National Research & Development Foundation of St. Lucia and Permanent Secretary for Education & Culture/Chief Education Officer in Grenada.
He has conducted consultancies for many regional and multilateral agencies that includes the World Bank (development of the Caribbean Education Strategy 2020); the OECS (development of the revised Education Strategy).
Dr. Jules holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies, Barbados; a Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction (major); Educational Policy (minor) and an M.Sc. Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA; and a BA (Hons.) English from the University of the West Indies, Barbados.
He ahs authored many articles on educational policy, educational reform and adult education in the Caribbean and in small island states, as well as on sector reform, poverty alleviation, and organizational change. His work contribution to educational transformation was featured in the 2007 book by Peter Mayo and Carmel Borg “Public Intellectuals. Radical Democracy and Social Movements”.
FRANCES ARACELY VASQUEZ AMADOR
Ms. Frances Aracely Vasquez Amador is SME Regional Manager at Banco Atlantida in Honduras. Prior to her current role, she served as National Product Manager and also as Marketing Officer at Banco Atlantida. Ms. Amador has a Master in Business Management and degrees in marketing and international business, as well as finance and banking, from Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana.
Mr. Fritz Pinnock
Fritz Pinnock is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute since 2006.
Previously, he served as the Group Managing Director for Lannaman and Morris (Shipping) Limited, Metro Investments Limited, Metro Logistics, Seafreight Jamaica Limited, Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Port.
He has held several managerial positions with companies such as Jamaica Container Repair Services Limited (subsidiary of ZIM Shipping Line); Grace Kennedy & Company Limited; and Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited.
Ambassador Gail M. Mathurin
Ambassador Gail M. Mathurin, CD, succeeds Ambassador Henry Gill as Director General of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) of the CARICOM Secretariat, formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Prior to this, Ambassador Mathurin was Permanent Secretary, and Head of the Foreign Service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.
Ambassador Mathurin was educated at the University of the West Indies and in subsequent years also attended the Hemispheric Trade Issues and the Trade Policy courses at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
A career Foreign Service Officer in the Jamaican Foreign Service since 1979, Ambassador Mathurin has undertaken several key diplomatic assignments including: Permanent Representative to the United Nations and its specialised agencies at Geneva, and the World Trade Organisation where she was also Coordinator of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group in the WTO Doha Negotiations, Geneva, and concurrently Ambassador non-resident to Austria, Greece, Egypt, Italy and High Commissioner to Cyprus. Other assignments included: Senior Director and later Under Secretary Trade Division and Ambassador for External Negotiations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Jamaica, Ambassador non-resident concurrently to the Federal Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Argentina and the Republic of Uruguay, High Commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom and concurrently Ambassador non-resident to Portugal, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Spain, Minister, Deputy Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the OAS, Washington D.C.
Ambassador Mathurin is a recipient of the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), which was conferred by the Government of Jamaica in 2007.
Dr. Gary Jackson
Dr. Gary Jackson, Jamaica College old boy, is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation, and External Graduate Research Supervisor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
Dr. Jackson holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and MSc in Project Management, both from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He is a 2011-2012 Fulbright Nexus Scholar. He held several notable positions including: General Manager of Wigton Windfarm Limited, Jamaica, Manager at the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy, a Division of The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, and Lecturer on Integrating Alternative Energy, at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He has also held many technical positions during the earlier part of his career. Dr. Jackson has amassed extensive management, technical and industry knowledge and experience from serving in both the commercial and academic aspects of the energy industry. As such, he is a firm believer in the need for greater synergies between academia and the electric utility businesses. He has said that “such synergies can allow the Caribbean people to move away from the wholesale importation of vanilla technologies to models customised to suit the needs of the region.” His vision theme is “emancipation” as he is an advocate of education and resource integration. His main area of research is renewable energy development and utilisation, refrigeration and airconditioning,
energy management and conservation. He is a Registered Engineer in Jamaica and an associate member of the JIE and IMECHE.
Ms. Ingrid Riley
Ingrid Riley is the founder of ConnectiMass- a Company that Connects People, Ideas and Technology. My company focuses on marketing, media and events for tech companies, tech products, tech services and tech initiatives. Our Mission is to facilitate and partner with the next generation of digital movers and shakers who through their innovations and businesses, will put a dent in the universe. I am an entrepreneur, digital marketing strategist, blogger and tech evangelist, Traveler, Voracious Reader and HGTV Addict. In essence Ingrid Riley is pretty obsessive with Mobile, Social Media and Startups…and putting the Caribbean on the World’s Tech Map. She is based in Jamaica and connected to the World.
Ms. Jacqueline Yearwood
Jacqueline Yearwood is currently the Enterprise Development Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA). A former graduate of the Barbados Community College and the UWI where she obtained qualifications in Hospitality Management, Political Science and Law and Post Graduate Studies in International Relations respectively. She has worked in the Ministry of Trade Industry and Commerce in Antigua and Barbuda on all areas of International Trade, with specialization in telecommunications and the WTO. Contracted by the Government of Montserrat she served 31/2 years as the Development Officer in the Development Unit responsible for all trade matters, development of local business and management of the Industrial Estate. Subsequently she was recruited by CIDA to St. Lucia to work as Project Officer in the OECS Trade Policy Project, a capacity building project serving the nine Member States of the OECS. Currently serves as Chairperson for the Credit Committee of the Community First Cooperative Credit Union and is an active Board member of the Gilbert’s Agricultural Rural Development Centre (GARDC) and the Antigua and Barbuda Standards Council.
Mr. James Dacosta Husbands
Mr. James Dacosta Husbands
Solar Dynamics Ltd.
Barbados is the leading nation in the western hemisphere, and fifth in the world in the penetration of solar water heaters per thousand households.
This major achievement has been highlighted as a benchmark for other nations.
The company which has spearheaded this development is Solar Dynamics Ltd.
The concept of solar water heating as an appropriate technology was the brainchild of Canon Andrew Hatch, who built one of The Brace Research designs of the “Low Cost” solar water heaters in the early 1970’s.
The widespread use of solar water heaters in Barbados is as a result of the diligence and persistent efforts of James Husbands, together with long term fellow Director Ivan Franklyn, and their staff; with the widespread support and satisfaction of the public of Barbados.
The company extended its influence in the Caribbean, with the establishment of Solar Dynamics EC Ltd in St Lucia in 1993, with Minvielle and Chastanet Ltd.
James Husbands’ work has earned him the national award,” The Gold Crown of Merit,” in Barbados’ Independence Honours of 1994.
Regionally, James is The 2008 Anthony.N.Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence Laureate in Science and Technology.
Internationally he has received “The Pioneer Award” from The World Renewable Energy Network, presented in Scotland in 2008.
He is a past student of The Princess Margaret Secondary School, and The Christ Church High School. He has been a student of management of The Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity; and had attended many courses on renewable energy, including one at The University of Florida.
James has served as Vice President of The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and President of The Barbados Manufacturers Association.
He has served on the boards of The Barbados Mutual Life Assurance Society (now Sagicor), The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, The Barbados Industrial Development Corporation, and the TVET Council.
He was a founder member: served as President of The Kiwanis Club of Bridgetown, and was named a Distinguished Past President.
He has been involved in civic society and church organizations; and served as President of St Stephen’s Anglican Young People’s Association; The St Stephen’s Men’s Fellowship; and Co-ordinator of Sing-Out Barbados.
James Husbands has served for many years, as Vice President of The Caribbean Solar Energy Society.
He is married to Cynthia, a teacher of English as a foreign language at The Barbados Community College.
He has a son, Warren, and a daughter Joy.
James enjoys gardening, art and antique furniture collection, photography and swimming.
Mr. Jeff Kaplan
Senior Expert on Open Government and Open Data, ICT Unit – World Bank
Managing Director, Open ePolicy Solutions
Jeff is a strategic management consultant to government agencies and multinational companies on open data, open innovation and technology policies. A recognized global expert in these areas, Jeff is currently working with the Republic of Tunisia, Moldova, Macedonia, Kenya and Nigeria’s Edo State on their Open Government, Open Data and Open Innovation agendas. He also currently acts as Lead Facilitator for the Open Data Innovations Network, a global community of practice launched by the World Bank.
Previously, Jeff has worked on client engagements as diverse as Saudi Arabia’s National Digital Content Strategy and policy framework for public-private partnerships in e-services, the drafting of Azerbaijan’s first National e-Government Strategy and the updating of Jordan’s National e-Government Program.
Jeff was also Founder & Director of the Open ePolicy Group, a pioneering, global network of government CIOs and industry executives based at Harvard’s Berkman Center, that published the Roadmap for Open ICT Ecosystems, a set of policy tools for use of open technologies to drive interoperability and innovation.
Jeff received a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with honors from Yale University. He was also an International Affairs Fellow in e-government at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2000-2001.
Ms. Joanna Charles
Ms. Joanna Charles is the Assistant General Manager for the Bank of St. Lucia Ltd. She has 25 years of banking experience and currently oversees all aspects of the Bank’s operations, including Corporate, SME and retail Lending Branches and Central Services. Ms. Charles was very instrumental in establishing the Bank’s SME unit, which has been in place for the last 3 years. She is President of the Bankers Association in St.Lucia and Vice Chairperson of the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB). Ms. Charles has a BSc (Hons) in Banking and Financial Services and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB). She is also holder of an MBA from Manchester Business school and attended the FIPED programme on MSMEs at Harvard University.
Mr. Jordan Schwartz
Jordan Schwartz is the Lead Economist for Sustainable Development in the World Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean Region. He has worked in the field of infrastructure and economic development for over 20 years, focusing on green growth, investment design and strategies, logistics, regulation, and regional integration. He is also Head of the World Bank’s Global Expert Team on Trade Facilitation & Logistics. At the Bank, Jordan has led operations and advisory work in Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia, Central Europe and Africa.
Jordan is an author and frequent speaker on a wide range of topics in economics, finance and regulation. He has published on Green Growth, PPPs, the stimulus effects of infrastructure investment, the role of logistics in competitiveness and poverty alleviation, utility regulation and post-conflict investment.
Before joining the World Bank in 1998, Jordan worked at Booz Allen’s Transport Strategy Consulting Group, and later, as the Senior Manager for Utility & Infrastructure Consulting at Deloitte Emerging Markets. His work included financial feasibility, investment strategies, and transaction design for port, airport, highway, rail, power and water investments. Jordan holds a Master of Science from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where he studied development economics and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.
Mr. Marcelo Lebendiker
Marcelo Lebendiker is the President of Parque Tec, the first ICT based incubator in Central America located in Costa Rica. He is also the President of the first Seed Capital Fund for ICT start ups in Central America. Mr Lebendiker was a founding partner of the first Costa Rican and Panamanian Financial newspapers, and a co-founder of the first Angel Investment Network in Costa Rica. He is a Director at the Universidad de Iberoamerica, and a member of the Latin American Incubation Network, Relac.
He attained a BA in Economics and Mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Marcia Brandon
Dr. Marcia Brandon is a youth entrepreneurship development expert with over 15 years best practices track record and impact in the non-traditional area of youth entrepreneurship development in the Caribbean.
She possesses proven non-traditional skills, experience nd knowledge in establishing and successfully operating outh entrepreneurship organizations. She specializes in helping at-risk young males and females to start businesses; establishing and evaluating business mentorship programmes, building strategic partnerships and sharing best practices and results, through practical hands on innovative training, knowledge transfer and learning mechanisms ,presentations at conferences, and publications.
She has worked with Caribbean countries and thers in Africa, Asia and Central America to stablish youth entrepreneurship organizations and programmes or similar entities. She has been the Executive Director of the award winning, lead youth entrepreneurship development organization, Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) for 14 years. In 2000, she assumed the role of Regional Technical Coordinator, helping, so far, 9 countries in the region, to establish youth business Trusts, or similar organizations.
She has been a judge for TIC Americas Business Plan Competition and a Business Labs trainer for Young Americas Business Trust (YABT); a consultant for Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), USAID, and UNDP. She has written numerous articles on the topic of youth entrepreneurship, NGO challenges and business mentoring. She has spoken at several conferences, globally, on the topic and sits on the Boards of many local private, public and international development organizations. In 2006/2009, she received the BYBT Awards of Excellence for outstanding contribution to youth entrepreneurship development in Barbados and the Caribbean; July 2010 -Champion of the Month Award – Youth Business Development by Caribbean Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Network (RIE ); 2011, Barbados Rotary West Award for Valuable Contribution to Youth Entrepreneurship in Barbados. In 2011 she formally co-founded The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Youth Entrepreneurship based in Barbados. She is now the Regional Director for Caribbean Centre of Excellence on Youth Entrepreneurship.
Ms. Mariana Castro
Mariana Castro is the General Manager for the LATAM New Markets subsidiary within Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean. This third largest subsidiary in the region includes Central America, English-speaking Caribbean as well as Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Paraguay. She is directly responsible for the overall success of Microsoft’s business and partner relationships in this region, reporting directly into the President for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mariana is a seasoned professional with a 20 year career at Microsoft where she first began in the Argentina subsidiary as a Technical Manager. Her most recent responsibility was as General Manager for the Sales Marketing and Services Group for the Multi Country Americas region in Latin America, a region that covered the Caribbean, Central America, and part of South America (Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru). In this role she was responsible for leading all elements of sales and marketing across this region including revenue and P&L performance, and instilling business leadership and marketing intelligence across the region. During her tenure she was responsible for driving 8% growth across this subsidiary YoY.
Other roles she has held in Microsoft include General Manager of Latin America Operations, responsible for the operational leadership of the Latin America channel partners acting as the key strategist in providing expert business advice to fulfill the business objectives of the region’s subsidiaries. In this role, Mariana directed long-term operations planning by setting the requirements to meet strategic future needs, leading and influencing the senior management team operating in a multi-currency, multi-national environment with a focus on maintaining and expanding current market share in the region. She also held other positions such as Marketing Manager for the Caribbean and Central America region.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Mariana was a Senior Consultant at Coopers and Lybrand. She also held the position of Associate in Administration and Systems Consulting at Smith and Williamson both located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mariana is originally from Argentina and is married with two daughters. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family in the states and in Argentina.
Mrs. Marlene Street-Forrest
Mrs. Marlene Street Forrest is the General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and Director of both its subsidiaries. Her mandate is to continue the process of developing the JSE Group and particularly the Exchange, in an atmosphere of transparency and fairness while utilizing appropriate technology in providing the greatest possible efficiencies to the market.
Mrs. Street Forrest has a wealth of experience having worked in senior management positions at varying private and public sector organizations here in Jamaica and overseas. It is under her stewardship that the JSE became demutualized and the Caribbean Exchange Network, the US Denominated Market and the Junior Market were launched. She also spearheaded the Registrar Division of the Jamaica Central Depository (JCSD) when she served as General Manager for this subsidiary of the JSE. Today, Mrs. Street-Forrest is a highly demanded speaker, having given presentation at many local, regional and international conferences and seminars for the securities markets and financial services industry.
A graduate of Titchfield High School in Portland, Mrs. Street Forrest then attended the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she read for the Bachelors Degree in Management Studies and later gained her Masters in Business Administration at the Barry University in Florida.
Mrs. Street Forrest is an avid reader, who is committed to the principles of volunteerism and community service. She is a Justice of the Peace and serves as a Director for the Good Samaritan Inn, a Christian outreach aimed at uplifting the poor and marginalized. She is married to Franklin and has two daughters, Francia and Keena.
Senior Education Specialist, LCSHE
The World Bank
Michael F. Crawford is a Senior Education Specialist in the World Bank Latin America Human Development Department. He is currently responsible for management and oversight of World Bank projects and studies in the areas of tertiary education and promotion of science and technology capacity through the Latin America and the Caribbean region. He has led the development of World Bank investments in university and science and technology capacity most recently in Chile, Peru, Uganda and previously in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela. He recently led a large scale analysis of student lending policies and Chile. He has helped shape World Bank policy for the promotion of science and technology capacity through global analytical and policy work, and co-authored the September 2003 paper, “Strategic Approaches to Science and Technology in Development,” presented to the Bank’s Board of Directors. From 2002-04, he was the Assistant to the Managing Director for Human Development. He has also led or contributed to World Bank investment and analytical work on higher education and science and technology in Tanzania, Romania, Thailand, Argentina, Guyana, and Colombia. Michael holds an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in Philosophy and Mathematics from St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD.
Mr. Bernard Hoekman
Bernard Hoekman, Director, International Trade Department, manages the World Bank’s international trade department. Prior positions at the World Bank include Research Manager of the trade and international integration team in the Development Research Group; manager of the trade capacity building program of the World Bank Institute; and trade economist in the Middle East/North Africa and Europe and Central Asia departments. Before joining the World Bank in 1993, he was an economist in the GATT Secretariat in Geneva (1988-93), supporting the Uruguay Round negotiations. He has published widely on the GATT/WTO, trade negotiations, international trade and investment in services, trade preferences and regional integration. He is a graduate of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and is a Research Fellow of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research. His most recent publication is The Political Economy of the World Trading System (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2009).
Mr. Jose Jorge Saavedra
Mr. Jose Jorge Saavedra, a Bolivian citizen, is a Private Sector Development Lead Specialist and the Executive Director of the Compete Caribbean Program. In the public sector, he worked in Bolivia as Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development and Executive Director of the Technical Unit on Productivity and Competitiveness. In academia, he worked as Academic Dean of the MBA Program of Maestrias para el Desarrollo (Universidad Catolica Boliviana / Harvard Institute for International Development). He was visiting professor hired by Harvard University to teach at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. In the private sector, he worked as Executive Vice President of the FCALP Railroad, as General Manager of Grupo Metrobol S.A., a transportation and communications holding. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from the Universidad Catolica Boliviana / Harvard Institute for International Development, and a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy.
Mr. Paul Holden
Paul Holden is Director of The Enterprise Research Institute, a Colorado based consulting and organization think-tank. He specializes in the analysis of the business environment in developing countries, focusing particularly on the constraints to investment and growth, including productivity constraints, corruption issues, transactions costs, property rights, access to finance, the legal framework for doing business, and how to implement reform. He has extensive experience in small island economies, having worked in both the Caribbean and the Pacific for many years.
Paul has developed private sector development strategies for numerous countries, including Armenia, Romania, Brazil, Jamaica, Peru, and 8 Pacific region economies. He has advised international institutions on implementing private sector development reform programs. He developed the private sector strategy for the Asian Development Bank in the Pacific region. He wrote the private sector development strategy for AusAID in their Pacific 2020 initiative and wrote the background papers for the InterAmerican Development Bank’s private sector strategy. He has recently been involved in implementing an extensive secured transactions reform program in 6 countries initiative Pacific region.
Dr. Holden received his Ph.D. in economics from Duke University and has worked at both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Ms. Mercedes Araoz Fernandez
Ms. Araoz has wide experience both as an academic and as a public servant in Peru, her birth country. A former Presidential candidate, she has served as Minister of International Trade and Tourism (2006-2009), where she headed negotiations for several free trade agreements; Minister of Production (2009), promoting small business; and Minister of Economy and Finance (2009-2010), time in which she was able to keep the fiscal deficit under 1% of the GDP, promote a growth rate of 9%, maintain a low inflation rate and good investors grading for Peru’s debt, despite the international financial crisis.
Regarding Academia, Ms. Araoz has been Professor and member of the Board of Trustees at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima and at the Diplomatic Academy of Peru, researching and teaching courses on international economy, economic integration, international trade policy and negotiations and public finance, amongst others.
As a consultant, she has worked with various international organizations such as the World Bank (WB), and United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Mercedes is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics and has a Master of Arts in Economics, both from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA. She obtained her Licentiate and Bachelor in Economics from the Universidad del Pacifico, Lima, Peru and is certified as an Ontological Coach by the Newfield Network, Chile. She has moved to Mexico to fulfill her new responsibilities and has one child.
Ms. Michele English
President and Chief Operating Officer, Flow
Michele is president and chief operating officer of Flow in Jamaica. She took on this role in August of 2008, having been a part of the Flow team since 2006 as General Manager. In her position, Michele has played an integral role in managing Columbus’ aggressive US$350 million capital investment program; a program that has virtually transformed the telecommunications industry in Jamaica.
Prior to joining Flow, Michele worked with Persona Communications, a TSX-listed company that provided digital cable television, high speed internet and corporate data service in 1,200 towns across seven Canadian provinces. During her tenure at Persona, Michele served in ever-increasing management roles including Director of Human Resources, General Manager and finally Vice President responsible for managing the company’s Atlantic Canadian Division. Michele led the rebuild of the company’s network and successfully deployed digital cable and broadband Internet in its markets.
Ms. Rosemary Piper
Rosemary Piper, a Panamanian citizen born in Brazil, and a financier graduated from Santa Maria La Antigua Catholic University, worked in the financial sector for over 15 years, occupying positions including Head of the International and Treasury Department and Branch Manager of renowned financial institutions, before establishing her own business.
She has participated in numerous local and international governmental, professional and academic forums, mainly in the subjects of competitiveness and small businesses. These include events organized by: Inter-American Accounting Association, Latin-American Confederation of Small and Medium Industries (CLAMPI), Ibero-American Institutional Cooperation Program for SME Development, and Organization of American States (OAS).
Ms. Piper has been a consultant/counterpart in projects sponsored by ILO, USAID, CAF Latin American Development Bank, IADB and OAS. Additionally, she has been President of the Small and Medium Businesses Association and Vice-President of CLAMPI; private sector representative at the Board of Small and Medium Businesses Authority, and board member of the Infoplazas Foundation.
Ms. Piper, who has a PMI Project Management certificate from the University of Louisville, is a member of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives, is affiliated to the National Association of Female Executives, and is currently the Deputy Director of Panamaӳ National Competitiveness Center.
Ms. Nehama Bikovsky
Nehama was born and raised in Israel; she joined ZIM in 1988 as Marketing Director and Sales Director of Israel and Near Mediterranean Region. In 2004 Nehama moved to Hong-Kong as the Marketing Director of the Far East Region.
In 2006 she arrived in Miami to take over the position as a VP for the Caribbean and Central America District, where ZIM is playing a major role. The Port of Kingston, Jamaica is the second largest hub for the company.
Nehama has an MBA from the Tel-Aviv University, and a BS in Social Studies from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
A Few words to describe Nehama Bikovsky will be authentic Leader, Creative, Wise, generous and passionate about her profession.
Ms. Nita Thacker
Nita Thacker, a national of the United States, is Deputy Division Chief of the Caribbean I Division of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, which covers the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). She currently leads missions to Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Ms. Thacker holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University at Albany, New York, and an M.S. in Economics from Calcutta University. Before working on the Caribbean, Ms. Thacker worked on Asia. She taught at Rutgers University before joining the IMF.
Mr. Onesimo Sanchez
Mr. Onesimo Sanchez is Manager of The Competitive Intelligence and Economic Research Unit, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), from January 2000 to the present. He has been leading and coordinating studies on the impact of the Panama Canal in the national economy and the social economic evaluation of the Canal expansion project. He has also occupied the economist position in the bi-national agency known as the Panama Canal Commission (PCC) since October 1991; The Economic Commission for Latin America and The Caribbean (ECLAC), Mexico D.F.; Ministry of Public Works of Panama, National Directorate of Planning and Special Programs (transport and infrastructure and project evaluation); and in The Almacenes Sanchez, LTD, in several administrative/sales positions. He has also taught economic courses at the National University of Panama, Florida State University-Panama Canal Branch and La Universidad Catolica Santa Maria La Antigua.
Onesimo is an economist, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Southeast Missouri State University, B.S. and A.A., in economics and computer science, and holds a Masters in economics, Graduate Fellowship, University of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois.
Hon. Pierre Laporte
Mr. Pierre Laporte started his education in Seychelles and continued in the United Kingdom where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Business Economics with Computing with honors at the Surrey University, and a Masters Degree in Economics with Distinction at the Sheffield University.
He started his career with the Central Bank of Seychelles and moved on to occupy various senior positions, the latter Director General for Research & Statistics, a position he occupied until February 2002 when he was appointed as an Economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its headquarters in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Laporte later served as an IMF Resident in West Africa during 2005-09. In November 2008, he was appointed Governor of the Central Bank. In March 2012, Mr. Laporte became Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment.
Dr. Rene Jean-Jumeau
Dr. Rene Jean-Jumeau obtained a licence (B.S. degree) in electro-mechanical engineering from The School of Engineering of the State University of Haiti (University d’Etat d’Haiti – UEH). He also holds a Master’s (M.Sc.) and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering, both from Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York.
Dr. Jean-Jumeau is presently Under Secretary of State for Energy at the Haitian Ministry of Public Works, Transportation, Communications and Energy.
He was formerly Coordinator of the Energy Sector Management Unit in the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (MTPTC) in Port-au-Prince. He also served as Senior Advisor for matters of Energy to the Minister of Public Works in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and, previous to that, as Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Energy and Telecommunications. As such, he has been the preeminent energy reference for the island nation for the past 6 years.
Rene Jean-Jumeau was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Universite Notre Dame d’Haiti of which he was a founding member, and taught as Professor of Electrical Engineering at University d’Etat d’Haiti and at University Quiqueya in Port-au-Prince. While at Cornell University, he carried out research in Electrical Power Systems.
Dr. Jean-Jumeau is currently a member of the Power Engineering Society of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He generally works as a consultant in Electrical Engineering, Energy and Systems Optimization.
Mr. Robert Paret Jr.
Robert Paret Jr. is Deputy CEO of Societe Generale Haitienne de Banque S.A. (SOGEBANK) since January 2008. In this role he coordinates the activities of all business units of the bank, mainly the activities of Corporate Banking and Retail Banking. Robert has extensive experience in the lending business. He started his banking career as a credit officer and has successively filled various management positions at the credit units of the largest Haitian banks. In 2008 he was appointed project manager “SME Downscaling Initiative” at Sogebank, a project developed in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Robert also coordinates for Sogebank various projects aiming at a better use of new technologies in banking services and promotion of financial inclusion.
Dr. Robert Read
Dr Robert Read is Senior Lecturer in International Economics at the University of Lancaster, UK. He is a graduate of the Universities of Essex (BA Economics) and Reading (PhD Economics) in the UK. After research and teaching positions at the University of Reading, he was an Economist for Unilever plc at its London Head Office monitoring macroeconomic and strategic developments in East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Read is a leading international authority on the growth performance of small economies and has published numerous articles in leading academic journals, book chapters and reports on this subject (much of it in collaboration with Professor Harvey Armstrong). He has also published extensively on a range of other topics in international economics. Dr Read has been an invited expert speaker at many international conferences and has also acted as a consultant to many leading international institutions, including the ACP Group of States, the European Commission, the CTA (ACP-EU), the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the Falkland Islands Government, the UK Foreign Office, the Dutch Foreign Ministry, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Bank and its Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Mr. Silburn Clarke
Silburn St. Aubyn Clarke is the founder and CEO of Spatial Innovision Limited (www.youtube.com/user/spatialinnovision) and (www.spatialvision.com}, the leading geospatial solutions company in the Caribbean. Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, approximately seventy percent of the company’s revenue is from outside of Jamaica. In 2008 the firm was inducted into the Jamaica Exporter’s Association (JEA) US$1million club, was named Champion Exporter for the Services Category US$1mil to US$5mil and was awarded the National Commercial Bank’s Regional Innovation Award. In 2009 the firm was again declared a Champion Exporter of the JEA and was named a winner in the inaugural Pioneers of Prosperity 2009 Caribbean Programme (www.pioneersofprosperity.org) and ranked among the top 1% of Small Business firms in the Caribbean. For the third year in succession, Spatial copped the 2010 JEA Champion Exporter Services Category.
Silburn’s secondary education was at Kingston College in Jamaica. He has a Masters in Engineering (Univ of London, Distn, 1980), an MBA (UWI, Finance, Distn, 1991) and a MSc in Computer-Based MIS (UWI, 1995). He was the recipient of the Hart Prize for Academic Excellence in Photogrammetric Engineering in 1979 from the University College London and was an awardee of the 1984 UK Commonwealth Scholarship. He is a Commissioned Land Surveyor (CLS) and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS). He taught at the University of Technology, Jamaica for over a decade and currently serves as an external examiner for the Surveying and Geographic Information degree programme. In 2005 Silburn was elected a Patron of UTECH (Faculty of Built Environment) and inducted into the Faculty’s Wall of Fame.
In April 2011, Silburn commissioned and executed the first Knowledge Economy Conference in the Caribbean (www.knowledgesocietyfoundation.com)
HON. WINSTON DOOKERAN
Winston Dookeran is the Minister of Finance of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a founding director of the Foundation for Politics and Leadership. He has served as Minister of Planning and is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. Previously, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and at the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University. He served as Senior Economist at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and as a lecturer at the University of the West Indies Department of Economics.
Ms. Thelma Young
Thelma Yong is Credit and Risk Assessment Manager at Jamaica National Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBLL). Ms. Yong has previously served as Chief Project Analyst and Small Business Advisor with the National Development Bank of Jamaica, and Management Accountant with the Urban Development Corporation of Jamaica. She holds a BSc. Hons. degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Yong also has a Diploma with Distinction in Entrepreneurship and Industrial Assistance from the Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands, and a Diploma in Project Preparation, Appraisal and Management from the Administrative Staff College in Jamaica, as well as a Certificate in Development Banking from the National Institute of Bank Management in Pune, India. She also completed a course in Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation at the “Universidad Del Pacifico” in Peru. More recently she attended Harvard University where she pursued a course in Private Enterprise Development.
Mr. Todd M. Johnson
Todd M. Johnson is a Lead Energy Specialist in the Latin America and Caribbean Region of the World Bank. Since joining the Bank in 1991, he has worked on a range of energy and environment-related issues, including clean energy development, air pollution health effects, and global climate change. He has coauthored numerous articles and reports on green growth and sustainable energy development, among them: China: Issues and Options in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control (1994), Climate change mitigation in the urban transport sector (2003), and Low-Carbon Development for Mexico (2010). Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked at the National Academy of Sciences managing economics education and research reform in China from 1986-1991, and was a research fellow on energy policy at the East-West Center in Hawaii from 1979-1986. Todd has a PhD in economics from the University of Hawaii and a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin.
Vandana Chandra is a Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Economic Policy and Debt Department of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. In recent years she has worked on regional integration, structural transformation, export diversification and competitiveness, and technological adaptation in developing countries. In Light Manufacturing in Africa: Focused Policies to Enhance Private Investment and Create Jobs, she explores what Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia can do to diversify away from primary commodities and compete in specific industries with China to create productive jobs. In Technology, Adaptation and Exports: How Some Developing Countries Did It she uses industry studies to unravel “how” governments fostered technological adaptation to seed or scale up nascent export sectors. In studying the catch up of the BRICs with South Korea in Innovation and Growth: Chasing a Moving Frontier, she finds that country-specific human capital development policies are necessary to complement trade and competition policy in bolstering technological catch up in a globalized world. In other studies, she has explored the possibilities for economic diversification and sustainable growth in Sub-Saharan Africa”s low income