Carlos Felipe Jaramillo
Vice President of Latin America and Caribbean, World Bank
Felipe oversees the Bank’s relations with 31 countries and a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance and grants of almost US$32 billion. Under his leadership, the Bank’s operations in the region focus on fueling growth, reducing poverty, supporting equality and protecting the environment. Jaramillo was previously the World Bank country director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda, based in Nairobi. There he managed an operational portfolio of more than 80 projects representing a total investment of more than US$12 billion to help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face. Prior to his role in Africa, Jaramillo was the senior director of the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice (MTI), where he led a global team of more than 450 economists. Since joining the World Bank in 2002, he has also served two terms as country director in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.
Senior Economist, World Bank
Julie is a Senior Economist in the office of the Regional Director for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the lead author of “360o Resilience: A guide to Prepare the Caribbean to a New Generation of Shocks” which provides a diagnostic and a roadmap for building resilience to climate change in 17 Caribbean countries. In her current position, she focuses on the link between development policy and climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, working with countries on building more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive growth trajectories. She coordinates new World Bank core diagnostics on development and climate change in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Peru. In previous positions, she contributed to World Bank flagship reports on climate change (“Shockwaves”, “Decarbonizing Development”, “The Adaptation Principles”) and co-led two major reports on infrastructure: “Beyond the Gap: how countries can afford the infrastructure they need while protecting the planet” and “Lifelines: the resilient infrastructure opportunity”. Julie is the author of dozens of research papers, an editor for Wires Climate Change, and a member of the leadership committee of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty. Julie holds an engineering degree from ENSTA ParisTech and a PhD in economics from EHESS in Paris.
Ambassador Ms. Malgorzata Wasilewska
Head of Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS, and CARICOM/ CARIFORUM, European Union
Before her current position, Ambassasdor Wasilewska served as Ambassador of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands and prior to that, Head of Division for Conflict Prevention, Peace Building and Mediation at the Security Policy Directorate of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels. Previously, she was Head of Division for Elections and Democracy Support in the EEAS at the Directorate General for External Relations of the European Commission. She has managed Electoral Observation Missions of the EU to countries around the world. Before joining the European Union, Ms Wasilewska worked as a senior specialist on issues of organizational governance and strategic planning at Amnesty International and Saferworld, both at the national and global level. Her main areas of specialization were organizational transition and growth, human rights, conflict sensitive development, post-conflict democracy building and non-proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
Executive Director, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
Ms. Riley has over 20 years’ experience in the area of disaster management at the regional and international levels in various capacities. As Deputy, she held overall responsibility 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, Ms Riley has played a leadership role in the coordination of regional responses to Hurricanes Ivan (2004), the Haiti Earthquake (2010); Tropical Storm Erika (2015), Hurricanes Joaquin (2015), Matthew (2016), Irma (2017), Maria (2017) and Dorian (2019). Her field experience includes the leadership of CDEMA deployment teams in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma (2017) and Dorian (2019). Ms. Riley is currently playing a leadership role in the coordination of the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Joseph Cox
Assistant Secretary-General of Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM
An Applied Economics Consultant and Advocate with a career spanning 30 years, Joseph Cox is currently the Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana. A Jamaican national, he holds both a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies.
His contribution to Regional Development has included the recent authoring of a book entitled “The New Normal – A Post-COVID Primer for Business”; conceptualised and received the unanimous approval from the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) of the Made in CARICOM initiative; development and successful execution through the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) of a Project Preparation Facility; development and implementation of a Regional Strategic Intervention Framework, dubbed the Programme of Technical Assistance to CARICOM Territories (PACT) - The programme boasts short, medium and long term intervention strategies designed to optimize economic impact in CARICOM Member States coupled with a robust monitoring and evaluation system. He also developed and received approval from the COTED for the strategy to re-open the Regions’ economies during the COVID-19 pandemic and has authored several peer reviewed periodic papers including “Utility of Vat Holidays” developed in November 2020. He also author’s and publishes CARICOM Business – a weekly Regional business newsletter which is circulated both Regionally and Internationally, to acclaim, have been published.
Prior to his CARICOM Secretariat posting, he was the Managing Partner for the Centre for Growth and Development in Jamaica, doubled as the Executive Director, Growth Secretariat, at the Planning Institute of Jamaica and provided oversight for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) / Government of Jamaica (GOJ) Competitiveness Enhancement Programme. Mr. Cox’s contribution to Jamaica’s national development has manifested itself, in part, through the establishment of three (3) Financial Institutions and includes the preparation of the “Taxation for Growth Strategy for Jamaica”, “Municipal Finance Reform Strategy” and an intervention strategy entitled “Towards a Modern Development Approvals Mechanism” which was to overhaul the construction permitting system in Jamaica.
He was also engaged in advocacy of a myriad of social and economic policy issues. In October 2014, Mr. Cox conceptualised and led a demand side access to finance intervention entitled the Financial Information and Real-time Matchmaking (FIRM) initiative, in which some J$1.9B (US$174.0m) in financing was obtained for the Jamaican business community. Mr. Cox has also distinguished himself in the International Development Partner Community, having successfully completed diverse assignments for the IDB and World Bank. He is also the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Jamaica.
Ms. Amanda Charles
Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization
Amanda Charles is the Sustainable Tourism Specialist at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, with responsibility to coordinate implementation of the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Programme, aimed at enhancing the development, growth, competitiveness and sustainability of Caribbean tourism.
A Tourism professional with extensive public and private sector experience spanning over 15 years, at the regional and international levels, Ms Charles previously functioned as the Adviser to the Directorate of Sustainable Tourism at the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and as Tourism Consultant at the Organization of American States (OAS). She has also worked at several international NGO’s and non-profit organizations, including the United Nations Foundation.
Ms Charles holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with minors in Business Management and French from the State University of New York (SUNY), Plattsburgh. She also holds the Master of Tourism Administration Degree with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management, from The George Washington University, School of Business, Washington DC, USA.
Ms. Charles is from the Caribbean island of Dominica.
Youth Activist and Lecturer
As the disaster preparedness Desk Officer for SVG through the World Bank and CDEM and lecturer in Green Engineering at the SVG Community College – Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies Ms. Aria Laidlow is diligent and committed to the sustainable development of St Vincent and the Grenadines and region. In various capacities Aria has worked and researched in the fields of climate and disaster risk financing, disaster preparedness and response and environmental management for over five (5) years, with an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a BSc with Majors in Environmental Natural Resource Management and Geography (first-class honours) from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. Ms Laidlow’s experience spans from local to international platforms having worked as a CCRIF regional intern with CDEMA in the department of preparedness and response where she worked in the Regional Coordination Center in response to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and also volunteers with CDEMA’s RCC in response to the eruptions of La Soufriere in SVG. As a climate change and sustainability researcher with the UK Met Office Aria developed project outlines and conducted research on climate information services provided in developing countries and has also conducted research and consultancies for regional and international institutions in the field of disaster response, environmental project management and climate and disaster risk financing instruments (CDRFI) with a most recent report published by the Caribbean Policy Development Center (CPDC) on Recommendations for encouraging CDRFI uptake among micro, small and medium,-sized enterprises in Barbados. Ms. Laidlow has been involved in various youth led initiatives such as holding the position of past Director of Programme Development for the Commonwealth Youth Council responsible for climate change and National Youth Councils and currently sits as Vice Chair for women and minorities for the Caribbean Young Democrat Union. She was also chosen as a global talent to represent the University of Oxford at the UNDP’s UNLEASH SDG lab held in Singapore in 2018 and past Ambassador of the OECS sustainable development movement (SDM) Summit 2021.
Country Director, Caribbean Countries
Ms. Burunciuc is responsible for maintaining a solid partnership with the countries to address their development challenges. Since joining the World Bank in 1996, she held a range of increasingly challenging positions: Director for Central Asia; Manager in Operations Policy and Country Services; Country Manager for Macedonia; Country Program Coordinator for Southern Africa and Central Asia; Senior Country Officer for Ukraine and Belarus. She has strong and diversified World Bank experience in leading teams and complex operational and corporate assignments such as regional and country strategies, World Bank’s operations simplification and coding reform. She has extensive experience on leading policy dialogue with governments on various aspects of development. She led the preparation of the first World Bank regional strategy for Central Asia. Prior to joining the Bank, Ms. Burunciuc was a Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Moldova (Moldova’s central bank). In that capacity she worked on the establishment of a regulatory framework for the foreign exchange market, reform of banking supervision and bank restructuring.
Mr. Gibbings is a freelance journalist, newspaper columnist, television presenter
and media trainer. He has been in the media business for close to 40 years, has trained journalists throughout the Caribbean and authored/co-authored a number of training manuals for use by Caribbean journalists. He has worked as a journalism lecturer at CARIMAC, UWI, Mona, and in 2014 served as elections training coordinator for the Media Development Authority of Fiji. Gibbings currently serves as Vice President of the Jamaica-based Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC), is an executive member of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), and was recently elected to the governing Council of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). He has written extensively on Caribbean media affairs and has presented papers on a wide range of subjects related to press freedom and media development at conferences and seminars all over the world. His work has been published in a number of books and academic journals. In 2017, Gibbings was recognised for his journalism and press freedom activism by the US National Association of Black Journalists and received the organisation’s Foreign Journalist Award. He is also a published poet with five collectio