The Cabinet Secretary
On 2nd June 2008 Ambassador the Honourable Douglas Saunders, OJ CD, JP was appointed Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Public Service.
Born in Westmoreland, Jamaica, Ambassador Saunders received primary education at Trench Town, Kingston and Grange Hill, Westmoreland, before graduating from Jamaica College in 1967. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies at the University of the West Indies in 1972 and, later, a Certificate in Diplomacy from Oxford University in 1975. He is also a Pope Paul VI Scholar of St. John’s University in New York, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Government and Politics, majoring in International Relations, in 1981.
Ambassador Saunders spent more than thirty-six years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade in various capacities, including as Counsellor (Economic Affairs) at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York; Deputy Director of Foreign Trade; Deputy High Commissioner in London to Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Portugal; Director of European Affairs; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cuba, and later to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of France and Ireland as well as High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa. He subsequently assumed duties as Permanent Secretary in September 2002.
During his tenure in the public service, Ambassador Saunders has engendered a number of distinctions for his outstanding contribution to the sector. These include the Long Service Award in 1998 for 25 years of service to the Government of Jamaica; l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Commandeur) of France in 2002; the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) in Jamaica in 2003; and the Order of Jamaica in 2011.
Ambassador Saunders is an avid sports fan. During his schoolboy years, he actively participated in a number of schoolboy competitions including the Manning Cup Football, I.S.S.A. Athletics Championships, Sunlight Cup Cricket, Alexander Cup Tennis as well as various other sporting activities such as Rugby, Boxing and Swimming. He held the positions of Captain of the Jamaica College Football team and Vice-Captain of the Jamaica College Sunlight Cup Cricket team. He took his competitive aspirations to the tertiary level as well. During his tenure at the University of the West Indies, he participated in KSAFA Division 1 Football, Senior Cup cricket and other sporting activities such as athletics, hockey and basketball.
Ambassador Saunders enjoys reading and has a keen interest in national and international politics and sports. He is married and has four children and one grandchild.