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Six persons have been elected to serve on the Northeast United States Diaspora Advisory Board.
The electees include Kenneth Guscott, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Massachusetts, representing Massachusetts; Ambassador Curtis Ward, representing Maryland and Washington, D.C.; Councilwoman Elsa Foster Dublin, representing New Jersey; Shirley Irons, representing New York; Andrew Lawrence, representing Connecticut; and Donna Hugh Bailey, representing Pennsylvania and Delaware. The six were elected at the first Northeast US Diaspora Conference held at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C recently.
Dr. Harold Mignott, Chairman of the Northeast Diaspora Advisory Committee, informed that the members would represent their individual states and interface with various communities, thereby bringing their concerns to the Board.
He noted that the creation of this new Board was a step in the right direction in order to ensure that each state was given proper representation. “The Board will meet once each month and all the concerns will be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Dr. Mignott explained.
In his address, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley said the Jamaican Diaspora had a significant contribution to make to the continued development of Jamaica.
The Diaspora Advisory Board will act as the link between the government and Jamaicans living overseas. “It is the Advisory Board’s responsibility to inform the government on issues related to the governance and organization of the way in which our communities will interact,” Professor Shirley said.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, JLP Spokesman on Tourism and the Diaspora, Edmund Bartlett, noted that “the Diaspora represents the most formidable source of influence that Jamaica has today”. More than 200 Jamaicans attended the conference.