Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith today expressed deep sadness at the passing of Mrs. Jeanette Grant-Woodham, OD, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Trade and
Senator Johnson Smith said, “While I did not have the great pleasure of serving with her, we became friends through the Jamaica Women’s Political Caucus. Mrs. Grant-Woodham was a trailblazer and a strong believer in mentorship and the empowerment of women in leadership. She was a great source of encouragement and always had a word of advice to offer, having so much to share from her breadth of experience in education, politics and leadership in general. She was also extremely kind and genuinely interested in the success of Jamaica and the welfare of others. She will be greatly missed.”
Mrs. Grant-Woodham joined the Ministry in 1986 and had the distinction of being the first female to be appointed to the post of Minister of State. With this appointment, she added to her list of other ground-breaking achievements, including her election as the first female President of the Senate of Jamaica for the period 1984-1989.
The Minister advised that Mrs. Grant-Woodham is fondly remembered by staff of the Ministry for her words of inspiration and encouragement, coupled with her warm personality and unique leadership skills. She was able to connect with all levels of staff, reminding them of the value of giving of their best in service to Jamaica. During her tenure at the Foreign Ministry, Mrs. Grant- Woodham utilized her inherent skills as an educator, counsellor, teacher and mentor to inspire and encourage staff of the Ministry, while providing support to the strengthening of Jamaica’s international presence.
In 1987, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Jamaica’s membership in the United Nations, Mrs. Grant- Woodham delivered Jamaica’s policy statement at the United Nations General Assembly. That statement focused
on the major economic, social and political concerns of the time, including decolonization, apartheid, drug abuse, the debt crisis and economic development and underscored the importance of multilateralism and partnership in dealing with challenges brought about by rapid technological, economic and social change. She also made significant contributions at the regional and global levels in support of women.
The Minister and all staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade offer their heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Mrs. Grant-Woodham, a woman of substance who made an outstanding
contribution to Jamaica’s role in international affairs.
May her soul rest in peace.