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The Council of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has announced the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig as Deputy Executive Director of the Agency with effect from January 3, 2023.
Lieutenant-Colonel Craig is a disaster risk management practitioner, with over twenty-five (25) years of military service and more than sixteen (16) years disaster management experience working with community groups, government agencies, and national, regional, and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the local government, health, security, private and environmental sectors.
Craig served as Director-General Civil Defence Commission (CDC) before he was removed from the post by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in last July. He was subsequently appointed Vice-Chairman of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Prior to that the lieutenant colonel held the positions of Deputy Director General and Operations and Training Officer at the Civil Defence Commission, Guyana; Avionics Supervisor and Adjutant at Air Corps; and Infantry Commander/Platoon Commander for the Guyana Defence Force’s First Infantry Battalion. He presently serves as a Part-Time Lecturer for the Post-Graduate Program at the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Studies, University of Guyana.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig also served as the Chairman and member of the CDEMA Plan Development and Review Subcommittee for seven years. He has also been the Vice-Chairman of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction; Founder and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Alumni (Guyana); Founder and Coordinator of the CDC’s Volunteer Corps; and member of the National Disaster Risk Management Platform and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
Craig is the holder of a Master of Public Administration – Emergency Management from Walden University, a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management (Honours) from the American Military University, an Advanced Diploma in Project Management from The Business School, and an Advanced Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering from the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute and recipient of the Military Efficiency Medal (MEM).
His qualifications are complemented with various professional development certifications in the field of climate change and disaster risk management, hydrology and hydraulics modeling, and National Emergency Operations Centre Management, among others. Lieutenant Colonel Craig also has an avid interest in climate change, the environment, human rights, poverty alleviation, and volunteering.
At CDEMA, Lieutenant Colonel Craig will lead the Technical Programme Management Division (TPMD) which is responsible for the strategic and technical leadership of the Agency’s Disaster Risk Management (DRM) programme in the areas of Response, Recovery, Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Education, Research and Training.