Jamaican diplomat gets new United Nations posting

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Friday, June 28, 2013 | 10:30 AM

UNITED NATIONS (CMC) – The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has appointed Jamaican-born diplomat, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, as the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System’s operational activities for development in Malaysia.

Gyles-McDonnough will also serve as Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Malaysia, with additional responsibility for the Republic of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, and will have overall responsibility and team leadership for the coordination of UN development activities in these three countries. 

Her appointment becomes effective July 1.

The Barbados-based diplomat, served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean (OECS) for the past five years.

“During her tenure, she significantly raised the visibility of the development challenges facing small island developing states and mobilized other development partners to work together with the UN to support Barbados and OECS member states to address the impacts of climate change,” according to a UN statement.

It said she also played a role in making the transition to more sustainable energy future; strengthen capabilities to assess and manage disaster risks and impacts; and improve citizen’s security, well-being and life chances, among other key development areas.

Prior to her posting in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Gyles-McDonnough was Programme Adviser in the Executive Office of UNDP, and Regional Adviser in Jamaica.

 She has also served in the United Nations as Coordinator for the Grenada Recovery Programme following Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and Chief — UNDP Caribbean Sub-Regional Resource Facility in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Gyles-McDonnough is married to Ambassador Lorne McDonnough, the chief executive officer of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Development Fund.

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