On Monday June 2nd, 2008, the Office of the Cabinet saw the installment of a new Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador The Honourable Douglas Saunders, OJ CD. Mr. Saunders is the third officer to take over the reins of this distinguished position as head of central government. This is subsequent to the retirement of the Honourable Dr. Carlton Davis who after 40 years of dedicated, unbroken service to the public sector, retired in May, 2008.
Douglas Anthony Clive Saunders was born in Westmoreland, in rural Jamaica on February 15, 1949. He received primary education in Trench Town (Kingston) and Grange Hill (Westmoreland) before graduating from Jamaica College in 1967. He completed a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management Studies at the University of the West Indies in 1972 before obtaining a Certificate of Diplomacy from Oxford University in 1975. He is a Pope Paul VI Scholar of St. John’s University in New York where he obtained a Masters Degree in Government and Politics, majoring in International Relations in 1981.
Mr. Saunders spent the next thirty six years in the public sector in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade in various capacities. These include 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, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Grand-Duchy
of Luxembourg, the Republic of France, Ireland as well as High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa. He subsequently took the highest post in the Ministry as Permanent Secretary in September 2002.
During his on-going tenure, Mr. Saunders has engendered a number of distinctions for his outstanding contribution to the public sector. These include the Long Service Award in 1998 for 25 years of service to the Government of Jamaica in 1998; l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Commandeur) of France in 2002 and the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) in Jamaica in 2003.
Mr. Saunders is an avid sportsman, actively participating in a number of schoolboy competitions including the Manning Cup, the I.S.S.A. Athletics competitions, the Sunlight Cricket Cup, the Alexander Tennis Cup as well as various other sporting activities such as Rugby, Boxing and Swimming. In fact, during his schoolboy years, Mr. Saunders held the positions of Captain of the Jamaica College Football team and Vice-Captain of the Jamaica College Sunlight Cup Cricket team.
His sporting affinities didn’t end there. 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 as well as other sporting activities such as athletics, hockey and basketball.
Mr. Saunders enjoys reading and possesses a keen interest in national and international politics and sports. He is married and has four children.