New HMCI Director Announced
Published 27th June 2018, 3:21pm
The Ministry of Home Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Danielle Coleman as the Director for Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI).
She is the former Deputy Director of Preparedness and Planning for HMCI, and has served as Acting Director on a rotational basis for the last 6 months.
“Ms. Coleman’s experience in disaster management is invaluable to the Cayman Islands,” Chief Officer for Home Affairs, Dr. Dax Basdeo states.
“Furthermore given her former role at HMCI, she already understands the workings of the department and what needs to be done to ensure it continues to deliver on its mandate, which is to protect the people of this country, and maintain a culture of preparedness and resiliency to disasters.”
Dr. Basdeo adds: “Ms. Coleman is uniquely qualified for this critical role and she will have the full support of my Ministry’s team as she undertakes the leadership of this key agency.”
A qualified attorney with master’s degrees in both law and human rights, the young Caymanian has been working in the humanitarian field for more than ten years in a professional and volunteer capacity.
Despite her legal background, Ms. Coleman has always been passionate about hazard management. Over the years she has acquired extensive experience in the field of disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery on local, regional and international levels.
With regards to local disaster relief operations, Ms. Coleman has worked for Cayman Islands Red Cross for five years as the Disaster Manager. During her time there, she liaised closely with colleagues in other British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean through the Disaster Risk Reduction Collaboration Programme led by the British Red Cross.
She has also undergone significant training in Mass Casualty, logistics, shelter and security management. Ms. Coleman retains close connections with the International Red Cross, and continues to assist with disaster management related training at the local branch.
On the international stage Ms. Coleman undertook recovery work in Thailand for six months following the Indian Ocean tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. She has also served as a Learning and Development Coordinator for the British Red Cross in London.
Shortly after joining HMCI last year, she was seconded to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to assist as a disaster manager for the BVI Red Cross and the BVI Department of Disaster Management in response to the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Ms. Coleman helped coordinate efforts with other response agencies and the BVI Disaster Management Office.
Ms. Coleman is currently working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Governor’s Office to draft a policy paper on developing rapid deployment teams in the Overseas Territories. She is also assisting with the ongoing development of a National Emergency Notification System, particularly for sudden onset hazards.
She served as a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross’s (IFRC) Emergency Response Unit (logistics), and is currently a member of the Americas Regional Intervention Team. She is also a trainer for both the IFRC’s community based psychosocial support and the National Intervention Team.
Ms. Coleman also served as a Director/Secretary for the Estella Scott Roberts Foundation and a volunteer with No Strings International, a charity that advocates for topics such as conflict resolution, child protection, disaster management and risk reduction.
She is an International Rotary Peace Scholar, and has been an active volunteer for the Family Resource Centre’s Legal Befrienders clinic for over ten years. She is also a former member of the Conditional Release Board and the Human Rights Commission.
The new HMCI Director initially joined the civil service in 2007, as a Human Rights Analyst/Operations Manager for the Ministry of Education’s Human Rights Committee. She has also held positions in the private sector including Director of Operations and Development for Cayman HospiceCare.
“I am honoured and deeply grateful to have been selected as the Director of this critical department, Ms. Coleman stated. “I look forward to working with our team at HMCI to continue to serve and help protect residents and visitors, while enhancing multi-disciplinary collaboration to ensure thorough and comprehensive hazard management.”