Businesswoman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paymaster (Jamaica Limited) Ms. Audrey Marks is the new Ambassador to the USA. She will succeed Ambassador Anthony Johnson, former Senator, Member of Parliament and University Lecturer, who will become the top diplomat at the Jamaican High Commission in London. They are expected to take up their assignments in May. Ambassador Johnson is replacing Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, O.J, who retired earlier this year.
A career entrepreneur, Ms Marks has also started and operated six previous businesses, including a 100-acre banana exporting farm, transportation company, and a real estate sales and development company. She has also managed a Venture Capital Company with diverse investments including manufacturing, travel and entertainment activities.
At a national level, Ms. Marks is the Deputy Chairman of the Urban Development Company (UDC), Director of the Board of RBTT Securities Jamaica limited, Jamaica Trade and Investment Company Limited, National Health Fund and the University of the West Indies (Mona School of Business) as well as a number of private and public sector bodies.
Ms. Marks has received citations and recognitions from organizations and peers for her pioneering work, entrepreneurial endeavours and commitment to social causes.
A graduate of Immaculate Conception and Marymount High Schools, Ms. Marks holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Administration from the University of West Indies and Nova University (Florida) USA, respectively.
Ambassador Johnson took up his posting in Washington in January 2008 succeeding Professor Gordon Shirley, Principal of the University of the West Indies.
Mr. Johnson has pursued a career path embracing a number of different fields, including being a politician with the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, having served as Minister of State in the 80s with the Ministries of Industry and Commerce, and Agriculture during his stint as a member of Parliament in 1983-1993. He has also been Opposition spokesman on a variety of subjects including Education, Agriculture, Mining, Energy and Technology. From 1980 to 1983 and 1993 to 2007, he was a Senator serving as Minority Leader from 1991 to 1995.He has also been a member of the Jamaican Electoral Advisory Committee, senior economist, journalist and civil servant.
Actively involved in the business sphere, Ambassador Johnson has been an Executive Director of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica and an executive of a number of business concerns.
Winner of a number of awards in the fields of business, academia and journalism, Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of California with a M.A. degree in International Trade and Finance, and a B.A. in Economics. He is a past student of Kingston College.