Thank you, Therese Turner-Jones

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.

Therese Turner-Jones speaking at the IDB 50th Anniversary celebrations. The place was packed. (My photo)

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.

Therese Turner-Jones (far right) with representatives of the Japanese Government, who were partnering with the IDB on a project in support of the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, back in February, 2020. Marilyn McKoy of JAID is speaking.

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!

I love this photo of Therese Turner-Jones sharing a joke with Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Zavia Mayne (left) and IDB Executive Director for Japan Mr. Toshiyuki Yasui, who were partnering with the IDB on a project in support of children with special needs with the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, back in February, 2020.

7 thoughts on “Thank you, Therese Turner-Jones

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience of Theresa. I liked these words: her “recognition of the value of relationships between different sectors of society….”. and that she was “observant, perceptive, a good listener. As many woman leadership are.”.
    I didn’t know her well but always enjoyed her company – her warmth and sharp intelligence, her generosity and humor. I hope she’ll remain in the region. We need people like her.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Emma! Thanks so much for paying tribute to Therese Turner-Jones, in this way. You said it all. She will be a hard act to follow and will be truly missed. Never mind the reasons for her dismissal, her work with both civil society organizations and specific government agencies speaks volumes. Those communities and Jamaican families who have benefitted are fully aware of her personal and professional efforts to fulfil important project goals of the IDB’s portfolio. It is her “humanness” that made the difference. I, too, wish her all the very best. Judith

    Liked by 1 person

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