Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, has announced the appointments of new Jamaican Heads of Mission in Mexico, India and Belgium.
A career diplomat, Ambassador Sharon Saunders has been a member of the Jamaican Foreign Service for over thirty-eight years and is presently the Under-Secretary with responsibility for the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division in the Ministry. Previous assignment included that of High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago with multiple accreditations in the Caribbean; Deputy High Commissioner at the Jamaican High Commission in London and Minister-Counsellor in the Embassy of Jamaica in Brussels and Permanent Mission to the ACP and EU.
Ambassador Saunders holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of the West Indies, in addition to specialised training in Diplomacy.
In welcoming the Ambassador-designate’s appointment, Minister Johnson Smith noted, “As a highly experienced diplomat, Ambassador Saunders has acquired expertise in bilateral and multilateral affairs, as well as extensive strategic engagement with the Jamaican Diaspora and the deepening of bilateral and regional relationships, including in CARICOM and the ACS. I am confident that she will use the opportunity of this new diplomatic assignment to continue to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Jamaica and Mexico as well as the rest of Central America, including in the areas of trade and investment.
The Ambassador-designate is expected to assume duties in Mexico City in January 2021.
High Commissioner-designate Jason Hall recently completed his tour of duty as Jamaican Ambassador to Mexico. Prior to that assignment, he served in both the public and private sectors for over 26 years and has significant managerial experience in marketing, tourism, business development and public relations. His previous roles included that of Deputy Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board, management roles at Jamaica Freight and Shipping Company and JAMPRO and more recently he served as Vice-President of Marketing at Supreme Ventures Limited.
Ambassador Hall holds a Master’s Degree in Marine Policy, as well as a PostGraduate Diploma in Marketing and training in Modern Diplomacy.
Minister Johnson Smith, in endorsing his appointment, affirmed that “Ambassador Hall’s appointment to head the new Mission in New Delhi is historic as he will be our first resident High Commissioner to India. I am confident that he will bring with him a wealth of experience which will be useful in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries in the areas of trade, investment and technical cooperation”.
The High Commissioner-designate will assume duties in New Delhi in January 2021.
Ambassador-designate Symone Betton-Nayo – Belgium
Mrs. Betton-Nayo is a career diplomat with over twenty-five years of service. She is currently the Director of the Trade Agreement Implementation and Coordination Unit in the Foreign Trade Division.
She has served as Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies in Geneva, and the Embassy of Jamaica and Mission to the EU in Brussels, respectively.
Mrs. Betton-Nayo holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and Economics (MILE) from the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and International Relations from the University of the West Indies.
Minister Johnson Smith took note of the fact that, “Mrs Betton-Nayo has extensive experience in the areas of foreign trade; bilateral and multilateral affairs. Mindful that she was a strong advocate for the strengthening of development cooperation between Jamaica and the EU, I expect her to continue that process, as we look to the implementation the new post Cotonou Agreement between the EU and the Organization of African Caribbean and Pacific States.”
The Ambassador-designate is expected to assume duties in Brussels on 1st February 2021, and will serve concurrently as Head of Mission to the European Union and non-resident Ambassador to several other countries in the Western Europe.