The Chair of the Management Committee of the Council of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Ambassador Elma Gene Isaac of Saint Lucia, has announced the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig as Deputy Executive Director of the Agency with effect from January 3, 2023.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig, a National of Guyana, is a disaster risk management practitioner, with over 25 years of military service and more than 16 years disaster management experience working with community groups, government agencies, and national, regional, and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the local government, health, security, private and environmental sectors.
Colonel Craig served as the Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) of Guyana for 5 years up until July 2022 and as an independent Disaster Risk Management Professional thereafter.
He has previously held the positions of Deputy Director General and Operations and Training Officer at the Civil Defence Commission, Guyana; Avionics Supervisor and Adjutant at Air Corps; and Infantry Commander/Platoon Commander for the Guyana Defence Force’s First Infantry Battalion. He presently serves as a Part-Time Lecturer for the Post-Graduate Program at the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Studies, University of Guyana.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig also served as the Chairman and member of the CDEMA Plan Development and Review Subcommittee for seven years. He has also been the Vice-Chairman of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction; Founder and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Alumni (Guyana); Founder and Coordinator of the CDC’s Volunteer Corps; and member of the National Disaster Risk Management Platform and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
He is the holder of a Master of Public Administration – Emergency Management from Walden University, a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management (Honours) from the America Military University, an Advanced Diploma in Project Management from The Business School, and an Advanced Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering from the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute and recipient of the Military Efficiency Medal (MEM).
These qualifications are complemented with various professional development certifications in the field of climate change and disaster risk management, hydrology and hydraulics modeling, and National Emergency Operations Centre Management, among others. Lieutenant Colonel Craig also has an avid interest in climate change, the environment, human rights, poverty alleviation, and volunteering.
At CDEMA, Lieutenant Colonel Craig will lead the Technical Programme Management Division (TPMD) which is responsible for the strategic and technical leadership of the Agency’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) programme in the areas of Response, Recovery, Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Education, Research and Training.