University of Cambridge > > Global Student Education Forum (GSEF) Talk Series > GSEF Talk - ‘Educational Issues in Jamaica’

GSEF Talk - ‘Educational Issues in Jamaica’

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Anthony Smith Rowe Johnson was born in Kingston in 1938 and was educated at Petersfield Elementary in Westmoreland and Kingston College. He earned his BA in Economics and MA in International Trade and Finance from the University of California at Los Angeles. He was an Inter-American Press Association Scholarship winner in 1960 (due to his work with the Gleaner Company and the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation), was honoured three times for academic excellence at UCLA , and was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 1980.

Anthony Johnson finished his MA in 1965 and accepted a job in the public sector. He worked as a Senior Economist for the Ministry of Finance, and later as a planner for the Central Planning Unit of Jamaica (now the Planning Institute of Jamaica). He transitioned into the private sector in 1970, running the operations of Jamaica Frozen Foods, Jamgro Ltd. and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica. In 1980, he joined the Jamaica Labour Party and was appointed to the Senate. He left the Senate in 1983 to become a Member of Parliament representing Northeast St. Catherine, a post that he held for ten years. During his time in parliament, Johnson’s portfolio included—though not all at once—Industry, Commerce, Mining, Energy, Technology, Education, and Agriculture. From 1991-1993, he was Deputy Leader of the JLP and a member of Jamaica’s Electoral Advisory Committee (now the Electoral Advisory Commission). He joined the Senate once again in 1993, this time for a period of fourteen years. From 2001-2007 he was Opposition Leader in the Senate. Throughout his time as Senator and MP, Johnson lectured at the University of the West Indies with the Department of Management Studies. He is also noted for being the first Jamaican council member of Parliamentarians for Global Action in New York, a post that he held from 2001 to 2003.

Since 2008, Johnson has been working in the Jamaican Foreign Service. He arrived in Washington, DC in February 2008 to serve as Jamaican Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States. He held this post until May 2010, when he was sent to London to represent Jamaica as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and as non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Finland, the Kingdoms of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and Ireland.

He has been a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Commerce and Manufactures since 2009, and a member of the English Speaking Union since 2010.

Anthony Johnson is married to Pamela Casserly Johnson, and they have four children. His extra-political interests include cricket, athletics, and classical music. He is the author of eleven books and multiple academic articles.



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