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After serving in that position for just over two years, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, is set to demit office in early 2013.

Dr. Hutchinson, who was appointed to the position in July 2010, succeeded Dr. Wesley Hughes, who is the current Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

The outgoing Director General was seconded from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, in the United States, where he served as Academic Dean, prior to coming to Jamaica. He is set to return to that institution to resume his work in academia.

Speaking at his final PIOJ quarterly media briefing, as the Institute’s Head, at its New Kingston offices on Tuesday (November 20), Dr. Hutchinson informed that Lafayette College’s administration had expressed a desire for him to return to resume his duties there.

"My university…has, throughout (my secondment), continued to tell me that I am deeply valued and they would like my return as soon as they could. This is something that the government has been aware of. So, as early as April (this year, myself along with)…the Prime Minister (the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller) and the Minister of Finance (and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips) and my university, we agreed that I would stay through the completion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiations and (development) of the growth strategy. I will be working hard until the end of January to complete (these and) some (other) very special projects that I am continuing to work on,” the Director General outlined.

Dr. Hutchinson, who previously worked with the government in the capacity of Economic Advisor to then Finance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, and Financial Secretary, Shirley Tyndale, assured that his departure is not likely to compromise the PIOJ’s management structure.

"The Planning Institute is very secure. We have outstanding senior leadership (in) a number of Deputy Directors General and Senior Directors, who will continue the incredible tradition of the…Institute, serving as the Chief Advisor to the Government on economic, social and environmental issues,” he assured.

In reminiscing on his stewardship, which he said was rewarding, the Director General contended that the “saddest day of my experience is going to be when I have to leave here, because I have loved every second of my time, being here, and I continue to (do so)”.

“I continue to believe that I create great value (to this Institute). I continue to…be inspired by my work and (the) work with my colleagues. I have not had one moment where I was not completely thrilled with the opportunity for service and collaboration. It has been my absolute privilege to serve this country and to be a part of my colleagues at the Planning Institute and across…government,…departments and agencies,” Dr. Hutchinson said, while stating that he looked forward to returning to Jamaica to serve in whatever capacity he could.