Former Head of Guyana’s CDC appointed to lead Caribbean Disaster Management Agency

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Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig has been appointed Deputy Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The Chair of the Management Committee of the CDEMA Council, Ambassador Elma Gene Isaac of Saint Lucia, announced Monday that the appointment takes effect from January 3, 2023.

The Lieutenant Colonel recently ended a five-year stint in July as Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in Guyana, a key agency in the management of Guyana’s oil spill response mechanism.

CDEMA is an institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and would also be pertinent in responding to any such disaster which, though unlikely, could impact Guyana and the Caribbean.

Guyana equipped to address all likely oil spill scenarios as US Coast Guard led training ends | OilNOW

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.

Craig, a Guyanese national, 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.

After leaving the CDC in July, Craig worked 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).

CDEMA said 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.

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