Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, was recently appointed as a Vice Chairman of the Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
Craig shares this portfolio with a synonymous colleague from the Dominican Republic, and together, they will serve from 2021-2022.
The Association of Caribbean States is a product of the desire of the 35 Contracting States, Countries and Territories of the Greater Caribbean to enhance cooperation within the region, an initiative aimed at building upon obvious geographic proximity and well-documented historical linkages.
As stated in the Convention Establishing the ACS, its primary purpose is to be an organization for “consultation, cooperation and concerted action” for its member countries. Its framework provides a forum for political dialogue that allows Members the opportunity to identify areas of common interest and concern that may be addressed at the regional level, and the solutions for which can be found through cooperation.
The Ministerial Council of the ACS, which is made up of Ministers and Representatives of the Member States, appointed several Special Committees to aid in the implementation of its mandate. Each Committee is operated by an Executive Board which consists of a Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen and a Rapporteur. The Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction, of which the Director General is one of two Vice-Chairmen, is headed by a Representative from Jamaica, with its Rapporteur hailing from Trinidad and Tobago.
Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig is a committed, results-oriented Disaster Risk Management (DRM) practitioner, with twenty-five (25) years of military service and more than fifteen (15) years of experience working with community groups, government agencies, and national, regional, and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the local government, health, security, energy, and environmental sectors. Lieutenant Colonel Craig serves as the current Director General of the Civil Defence Commission. While previously he held the positions of Deputy Director General, and Operations and Training Officer at the Civil Defence Commission (CDC); Avionics Supervisor at Air Corps; Adjutant at Air Corps and an Infantry Commander / Platoon Commander for the Guyana Defence Force.
He also serves as the Chairman of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Plan Development and Review Subcommittee, and Founder and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Alumni (Guyana). He has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) specialized in Emergency Management from Walden University, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Emergency and Disaster Management (Honours) from the America Military University, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute.
The Executive Board for the Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction will serve to foster co-operation among the organizations responsible for disaster planning and relief in the region. This will allow for the prevention and mitigation of risks, for the purpose of incorporating knowledge on prevention, education and planning with respect to the effects of disasters.