KINGSTON, Jamaica – “Our new home reaffirms the United States commitment to our relationship with Jamaica.” So said U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica Brenda LaGrange Johnson as she officially opened the new U.S. Embassy compound at a dedication ceremony attended by Governor General Kenneth Hall, and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Friday, December 15.
The new location in Liguanea will house all the U.S. Government foreign affairs offices previously located at 2 and 16 Oxford Road in Kingston.
Director of the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Buildings Operations, Charles Williams, while unveiling the commissioning plaque, noted the US $72 million construction project was a sizable investment in Jamaica, saying, “we want to be good neighbors”.
(left to right) Former US Ambassadors to Jamaica J. Gary Cooper, Stan M McLelland and Sue McCourt Cobb (extreme right) officially cut the ribbon to the new US compound with US Ambassador to Jamaica Brenda LaGrange Johnson and Charles Williams, Director of Overseas Building Operations in the US Department of State.
In his remarks on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Anthony Hylton said the new US Embassy is a consolidation of long standing relations between the two countries.
Commander John McFarlane treated guests to renditions of the Jamaican and U.S. national anthems. Guests also enjoyed extraordinary performances by the National Dance Theater Company (NDTC) choreographed by Professor Rex Nettleford and the NDTC singers under the direction of Mrs. Marjorie Whylie.
Also in attendance were the Honourable Rheima Holding Hall, Minister of National Security Dr. Peter Phillips, Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew Desmond McKenzie, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ambassador Douglas Saunders.
Other participants in the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting included three former US Ambassadors to Jamaica – Sue McCourt Cobb, Stan McLelland and J. Gary Cooper.