Many Jamaicans were saddened, and puzzled, to learn earlier this month that Therese Turner-Jones would be leaving the Inter-American Development Bank – a very important and influential multilateral donor in Jamaica and across the region. She had served as Country Representative for Jamaica (since 2013); four years later, she was appointed General Manager of the Caribbean Department at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). You can read her really impressive bio in lots of places, but this article written by the excellent financial journalist Al Edwards of O.U.R. Today (a Jamaican online news service that you should follow) gives us a sense of things.
I don’t know the circumstances of how and why she departed so suddenly, but I am not interested in speculating. In the least.
This post is a simple “thank you” and an appreciation of Ms. Turner-Jones, as a human and as a professional human.
Here are my reasons for appreciating this experienced economist and development specialist:
Ms. Turner-Jones is a “no BS” person. She is straight-forward. What you see is what you get.
She is highly focused and you can see she has goals firmly set, even as she speaks. Without a lot of what I call “waffle.” She knows what she is aiming for.
As a member of the IDB’s Civil Society Consulting Group, – I joined in 2017 – I should add that I always felt Ms. Turner-Jones had a real appreciation for civil society. Not in a “tokenism” kind of way, but she had an understanding of what civil society is about, and what it should be about. She understood what makes civil society “tick.”
Also, she recognizes the value of relationships between different sectors of society. Not many have the skill and ability to bring people together in this way, on topics of mutual interest and significance. It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to do successfully.
She is observant, perceptive, a good listener. As many woman leaders are.
She is Bahamian. She understands how Caribbean people think.
I am sharing a few photos of Ms. Turner-Jones at work (pre-COVID). For some reason my photos are in disarray and I cannot find the ones I wanted, from an important regional road safety seminar hosted by IDB.
She will be missed, and I will personally miss her leadership, her directness – and her kindness.
I wish her the very best (not luck, because I know it won’t be a matter of luck)… Every success, and happiness, too!
P.S. “Big ups” too to Therese’s incredibly supportive Jamaican husband, Dennis Jones – my occasional sparring partner, regular and provocative commentator, golf addict and fellow blogger!