Office of Global Affairs (OGA)


Ambassador Dr. Richard Bernal

Ambassador the Honourable Dr. Richard Bernal, OJ, returned to The UWI in July 2016 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs, having lectured in international economics and development economics for seven years in his early career. While at the university he was active with trade unions, NGOs and churches.

He was educated at The UWI, University of Pennsylvania, New School for Social Research and the School for Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. He holds the degrees of B.Sc., MA, Ph.D. (Economics), and MIPP (International Public Policy). He is an Honorary Professor at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies and is one of The UWI’s 50 “Distinguished graduates”.

Prior to joining The UWI as PVC, he was a Member of the Broad of Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (2008-2016).

Previous to the IADB, he was the Director-General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) for eight years with responsibility for trade negotiations for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Cuba and the Dominican Republic. He was Principal Negotiator for the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) in the negotiation of the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement and CARICOM’s lead negotiator and spokesperson in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations.

Dr. Bernal was Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) for the period May 6, 1991 to August 31, 2001. When he demitted office after 10 ½ years, he was the 4th most senior Ambassador in Washington D.C. and Dean of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corps.

A member of the Order of Jamaica, he has conducted meetings with prime ministers, presidents, the heads of international organizations and CEOs of multinational corporations and banks, and has deputised for Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Dr. Bernal has appeared before several U.S. Congressional committees of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the US International Trade Commission giving testimony on issues of concern to the Caribbean, such as trade legislation, economic development, the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the North American Free Trade Agreement. He has published over 100 articles in scholarly journals, books, and monographs as well as opinion editorials in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, and is the author of three books:

  • Globalization, Trade and Economic Development. A Study of the CARIFORM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

  • Dragon in the Caribbean. China’s Global Re-Positioning. Challenges and Opportunities for the Caribbean (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, April, 2014).

  • The Influence of Small States on Superpowers: Jamaica and U.S. Foreign Policy (Lanham: Lexington Publishers, July, 2015).

He has appeared on television including CNN  and PBS and on BBC radio, and has been quoted in the Financial Times, Washington Post, New York Times and Washington Times.

A squash enthusiast, he has played in the US National Squash Championships.

For more information on Ambassador the Honourable Dr. Richard Bernal, OJ visit

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