Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Newly appointed Morris Dixon gets Cabinet portfolio

Published:Tuesday | May 23, 2023 | 1:33 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Parliamentary Reporter
Newly appointed Cabinet minister Dr.Dana Morris Dixon
Newly appointed Cabinet minister Dr.Dana Morris Dixon
Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

DR DANA Morris Dixon, the recently appointed Government senator, has joined the ranks of the Andrew Holness-led Cabinet with portfolio responsibility for skills and digital transformation, while Pearnel Charles Jr has succeeded Karl Samuda as minister of labour and social security.

Charles will be supported by Dr Norman Dunn, who is the state minister.

Morris Dixon will work out of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) as minister without portfolio.

“It is important to be able to attract people into Government who are not necessarily coming from a political background or with a political skill set because to move Government you need to have people who also have technical skill sets who can look at the issue through an executive and policy lens,” Holness said yesterday at a press briefing at Jamaica House.

Noting that the private sector has been clamouring for skilled labour, the prime minister said that this had now become a barrier to economic growth.

He said Morris Dixon will have the task to collaborate with the private sector and HEART/NSTA Trust to ensure that Jamaicans are being trained to take up jobs that will drive growth in the economy.

Morris Dixon, who told The Gleaner in a recent interview that she delivered on the tasks given to her in both public and private sectors, will drive the process of digital transformation. She will also have oversight for the implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS).

At the same time, Floyd Green, who was in charge of the NIDS, has returned to familiar territory, taking the reins of the new Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Mining.

Green resigned from the Cabinet in 2021 as agriculture minister in the heights of the COVID pandemic after a video surfaced on social media showing him and others partying maskless at the R Hotel in New Kingston and toasting to no-movement day.

He was later reappointed as minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the NIDS, among other things.

Green will receive support from junior minister Franklin Witter.

The veteran Audley Shaw was shuffled out of the Cabinet and his portfolio of transport and mining has been split between Green and Daryl Vaz, who now heads the new Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport.

JC Hutchinson will work with Vaz as state minister.

Juliet Cuthbert Flynn has been given a new role as state minister to work with National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang. She previously served as junior minister for health and wellness.

Marsha Smith has been shifted from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service as state minister and will now support Fayval Williams in the education and youth ministry.

Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has now been joined by Zavia Mayne as the new junior minister.

With the departure of Senator Leslie Campbell, State Minister Alando Terrelonge will now join Kamina Johnson Smith in the foreign affairs and foreign trade ministry.

The other ministerial positions remain unchanged.

Other ministers and ministers of state

. Office of Cabinet – Prime Minister Andrew Holness

. Office of the Prime Minister – PM

. Economic Growth and Job Creation – PM

. Minister without Portfolio in the OPM – Everald Warmington (Works)

. Minister without Portfolio in the OPM – Matthew Samuda (Climate Change and Water)

. Minister without Portfolio in the OPM – Robert Morgan (Information)

. Ministry of Health & Wellness – Dr Chris Tufton

. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange

. Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce – Senator Aubyn Hill

. Minister of Justice – Delroy Chuck

. Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs – Marlene Malahoo Forte

Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs – Desmond McKenzie

. Minister of Tourism – Edmund Bartlett

. Minister of State in the OPM – Homer Davis