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Riley appointed as executive director of CDEMA


Riley appointed as executive director of CDEMA
CDEMA’s executive director Elizabeth Riley (FILE)

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Bridgetown – Barbadian Elizabeth Riley has been appointed executive director of the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), effective July 1.

She had been acting in the position since May 1 last year when Jamaican Ronald Jackson resigned to take up an international post.

Chairman of the Council of the CDEMA, Vincent Byron Jr, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of St Kitts-Nevis, announced Riley’s appointment.

Riley joined the CDEMA Coordinating Unit in 2001 and, as executive director, she will be responsible for the provision of overall direction and leadership to CDEMA.

This will include implementing the organisation’s mandate through programme management.

This involves strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilisation, financial management, partnerships and stakeholder relationships, and corporate communications.

Riley has over 20 years’ experience in disaster management at the regional and international levels in various capacities.

Strategic guidance

“At CDEMA, she has inter alia provided leadership for the Agency’s technical programming and provided strategic guidance in the areas of preparedness and response, mitigation, recovery, education and training and information management. At the operational level, Riley has played a leadership role in the coordination of regional responses to every major regional emergency event since 2004,” according to a CDEMA statement.

It said her field experience includes the leadership of CDEMA deployment teams in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma (2017) and Dorian (2019). Riley is currently playing a leadership role in oordination of the region’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, response to the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the ongoing floods in Guyana and Suriname.

She has written, presented and published technical papers in disaster management and environmental management whilst attached to CDEMA and prior to that during her tenure at the University of the West Indies and the Ministry of Physical Development and Environment in Barbados.

Riley has also lectured in Disaster Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona. At the international level, Riley has contributed to a range of technical advisory committees and is currently vice-chair of the ICG/Caribe Early Warning Systems Group of Experts on Coastal Hazards.

She also sits on the Regional Advisory Group leading the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean on Disaster Risk Management in the Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Sectors.

Riley holds a M.A (Econ) in Environment and Development from University of Manchester, United Kingdom, BSc. (Hons) in Geography from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica and a Masters Certificate in Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation and Information Systems from the University of Laval, Quebec. (CMC)