By Caribbean News Now contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority and prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, announced on Friday that the OECS Authority has selected Dr Didacus Jules as the Organisation's new director-general.
Dr Didacus Jules
The position became vacant when the former director-general, Dr Len Ishmael, demitted office at the end of December 2013. The Organisation canvassed widely and received applications for the position from across the region and beyond. Having deliberated inconclusively on this matter during the 58th Meeting of the OECS Authority in November in Montserrat, the Authority made the final selection during an ad hoc meeting of the Authority held in Havana, Cuba, during the CELAC summit in January.
Jules is currently the registrar and chief executive officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and will be expected to take up his position as director-general on May 1, 2014.
"The Authority is confident that the correct choice has been made," said Spencer, "and we look forward to working with Dr Jules in ushering in a new dispensation at our Organisation."
Spencer indicated that Jules beat out a strong field of candidates for the position and pointed out that he came with a strong reputation as executive who strove for efficiency and who was not afraid to go after transformational change. Spencer said that, given the challenges facing OECS countries in the coming years, Jules was the best person for the job.
Jules, a national of Saint Lucia, met with Spencer recently in Antigua and Barbuda and both men spoke at length regarding the Organisation's mission and priority focus.
The OECS Commission Secretariat is located in Saint Lucia.
Meanwhile, Jules’ departure has been described as “a tremendous loss to CXC”.
“While I applaud the appointment of Dr Didacus Jules as Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), his leaving CXC will represent a tremendous loss to the organisation,” said Professor Nigel Harris, chairman of CXC and vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies.
“During the six years of his tenure as CXC Registrar, Dr Jules sought to accomplish transformational changes in the organisation,” Harris stated.
These he said included the aggressive use of information and communication technologies to make CXC an IT-intelligent organization, expansion of outreach to global education organisations, significant broadening of international recognition and currency for CXC certification, and the engagement of regional leaders in both government and opposition in confronting some of the challenges of the region.
Harris also praised Jules for his leadership in securing a new CXC headquarters in Barbados and noted that this would be one of his enduring legacies.
Jules expressed his appreciation for “the tremendous privilege and trust extended by the Council in my appointment and in fully supporting the transformation of the organisation over the past six years.”
“I am confident that once we have completed the new Strategic Plan 2020, which will be brought for approval in April, the transformational direction of CXC will be consolidated and expanded,” he added.