Professor Gordon Shirley to deliver CDB’s 16th Annual William G. Demas Lecture

Professor Gordon Shirley, President & CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica and former principal of the University of the West Indies’ Mona Campus will deliver the Caribbean Development Bank’s 16th annual William G. Demas Memorial Lecture.

The lecture, entitled, ‘Rethinking Caribbean Logistics: Driving Forces; New Paradigms‘ will be held at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank on Tuesday, May 19 ahead of CDB’s Annual Board of Governors Meetings on May 20 & 21.

He was Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona Campus from August 1, 2007 – August 31, 2013. Since November 2013, he has been head of Jamaica’s Port Authority.

A graduate of both the University of the West Indies, and Harvard University in the USA, Professor Shirley started his professional career with Alcan Jamaica Company Limited where he worked as a mechanical engineer between the late 1970s to early 1980s. He then served as Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) until 1991.

In 1991, Professor Shirley joined the staff of the UWI, Mona Campus first as the Carlton Alexander Professor of Management and Head of the Department of Management Studies, then as Executive Director, Mona School of Business. He also served concurrently as Executive Chairman of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited.

In 1991, Professor Shirley joined the staff of the UWI, Mona Campus first as the Carlton Alexander Professor of Management and Head of the Department of Management Studies, then as Executive Director, Mona School of Business. He also served concurrently as Executive Chairman of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited.

In 2001 he was seconded to the Government of Jamaica as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the USA and Permanent Representative to the OAS. He has served on several public sector and private sector boards and committees in Jamaica, USA and Canada. The honour of the Order of Jamaica was conferred on him on August 6, 2009.

Professor Shirley’s presentation is within the focus of CDB’s annual meeting theme which is: “Facilitating Growth: Transforming Regional Logistics Infrastructure and Encouraging Youth Entrepreneurship.” Expanding on this theme will be the release of two major CDB-supported studies entitled: “Making Air Transport Work Better for the Caribbean” and “Youth are the Future: The Imperative of Youth Employment for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean.” Seminars will be held to delve into the findings of both studies.

CDB Governor for Trinidad, Senator Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development will chair the session on youth while Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and CDB Governor will chair the session on transport.

The Annual Lecture honours distinguished economic scholar and Caribbean leader, the late William Gilbert Demas who was CDB’s second president and served during the period 1974 to 1988. Mr. Demas also contributed to the region in the capacities of: Secretary-General of the CARIFTA Secretariat (which later became the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat); Adviser to the West Indies Trade Commissioner in London on Trade Policy; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Development and subsequently; Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister and Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Demas passed away in 1998.

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