Audrey Marks creates history by being Jamaica’s Ambassador to US twice
By: Derrick Scott
Washington, D.C. – The reappointment of Ambassador Audrey Marks has created diplomatic history for Jamaica, the first time an individual will serve the nation twice as the top diplomat in Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Marks who previously served as the country’s envoy to the United States from May 2010 to June 2012, is expected to assume duties next week.
The announcement of Marks’ appointment on Thursday, September 1st by Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith, created a buzz within the Jamaican diaspora, with those in the North-East US warmly welcoming the entrepreneur’s return as Jamaica’s twelfth Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS).
Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Atlanta, Georgia, Mrs. Scott, said, “It is with great anticipation and excitement that we in the Jamaican Community in the State of Georgia once again welcome Ambassador Audrey Marks to the United States in her official capacity as Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the OAS.
She continued: “We look forward to working with the Ambassador to advance the common interests of Jamaicans in the Diaspora and commit ourselves wholeheartedly to assisting her in transitioning into her role. The wealth of experience that she brings to the position will propel us into fulfilling many of the goals and objectives of those in the Diaspora.”
Mr. Patrick Beckford, from New Jersey, said that he was pleased with the appointment of Ambassador Marks, who proved herself during her prior tenure as Ambassador: “I have nothing but high praises for her. I want to commend her willingness to make herself available to the community and hope she will reacquaint herself with community leaders, to re-engage the Diaspora movement in an effort to refocus it towards the potential for the good of all Jamaicans in the USA and back home.” Mr. Beckford said he was looking forward to working with her.
President of the Washington-based Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA), Jacqui Payne Borden says her association is delighted to learn of the reappointment of Ambassador Marks.
She said it is her hope that Ambassador Marks engage the community in activities that will sustain the bonds that currently exist between the Embassy of Jamaica and the local association.
She was looking forward to working with “this outstanding daughter of Jamaica as our leader in Washington.”
For his part, prominent Pennsylvania-based Jamaican medical doctor, Harold Mignott, hailed it as a wise move by the government to reappoint Ambassador Marks. He said that in her last tour, she demonstrated that she had a keen understanding of the importance of the position in the development of Jamaica.
“More than most, she also understands the importance of harnessing the political capital of members of the Jamaican Diaspora in achieving the objectives of the office. Her background in business is best suited to the era of economic diplomacy and I believe she will be successful in the post,” he said.
Ambassador Marks, he said, “knows the terrain in Washington and the United States, and is a proven leader.
As Ambassador, she had garnered the respect and commitment from the Diaspora when she previously served, and I am confident that she has returned with renewed energy to represent the island of Jamaica.”
He said the CTC was looking forward to working closely with Ambassador Marks to create more trade missions and business meetings from the Northeast USA Region into Jamaica.
“We will continue to work diligently in order to negotiate and offer economic development opportunities and new investment initiatives in Jamaica,” he concluded.
Former coworker of Ambassador Marks, Elsunuah Henlon who lives in Delaware, said that Ambassador Marks’ reappointment is both timely and strategic.
He believes she has the depth of knowledge and experience required for this significant assignment.
He said she worked well with the Diaspora in the past and her reappointment can only strengthen this relationship.