JIS News

Jamaica’s newly appointed Consul General to the Southern United States, Sandra Grant-Griffiths, assumed her position on September 2, at the Consulate in downtown Miami. She will be responsible for consular affairs in the region’s 13 Southern states.
Mrs. Grant-Griffiths succeeds Ricardo Allicock, who returned to Jamaica to take up the position of Director of Protocol, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Mrs. Grant-Griffiths, brings a wealth of knowledge to the overseas Mission, having served in the Foreign Service since 1977. The Consul General has been involved in a number of areas in the Government service, including working with the Jamaican Diaspora, through her position as Director, Communication and Liaison, at the Jamaica Overseas and Consular Affairs Department, which also has responsibility for the Returning Residents Facilitation Unit.
During this period, she had responsibility for co-ordinating and implementing policies, aimed at establishing the returning resident programme, and outreach strategies for the Jamaican Diasporic communities, including the return of skilled Jamaican nationals, under the International Organisation for Migration, Returning, and Reintegration Projects.
Prior to her new assignment, Mrs. Grant-Griffiths held the position of Chief of Protocol, where she was engaged in the provision of appropriate State protocol services and policy advice, as well as facilitating the operations and entitlements of accredited diplomatic foreign missions, in keeping with the established Conventions.
The Consul General, was also instrumental in the planning of the inaugural Jamaica Diaspora Symposium and biennial National Diaspora Conference in Kingston, in June 2004.
In an interview with JIS News, Mrs. Grant-Griffiths said that she intends to continue working with the Diaspora, by engaging them in all areas relevant to Jamaica’s national and economic development, as well as furthering the Government’s mandate, to build partnerships for trade and investment.
In welcoming the new Consul General, Jamaican Diaspora Board advisory representative to the Southern USA, Marlon Hill, hinted at plans to co-ordinate efforts, to further develop the Diaspora for the benefit of the local communities, and in Jamaica’s interest.
With a personal interest in the arts, Mrs. Grant-Griffiths disclosed plans to forge avenues of cultural exchange between both regions. Already, an alliance has been established between the Consulate of Jamaica and the Broward Centre for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. This has resulted in the staging of successful performances, by groups such as the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC); Dem Three Jamaican Tenors; the one-person production – Jamaica Farewell; and concerts such as Reggae Symphony, featuring international reggae performers, John Holt and Freddie McGregor. The annual Reggae Soca Awards, have also been staged at the venue.
In an effort to better serve the community, the Consul General said that she would be collaborating with other agencies, to develop outreach programmes that would impact the lives of Jamaicans in the Diaspora.
In addition, she also indicated a keen interest in addressing concerns and issues pertaining to passports, and immigration and consular matters, as the Consulate continues to serve the needs of the Jamaican community under her jurisdiction. The Southern states are home to the second largest population of Jamaicans in the United States.
Mrs. Grant-Griffiths holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) degree in Public Administration and International Relations, from the University of the West Indies (UWI), and is married with one child.