News Releases

The Region Has Lost a Great Sonů

For Release Upon Receipt - April 15, 2014


The Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor E. Nigel Harris and the entire University community are deeply saddened by the death of Professor Emeritus Norman Girvan C.D. on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.  Our Region has lost one of its great sons who has made a significant contribution to regional development theory and policy.  As a brilliant scholar, a dear friend and colleague, a committed regionalist, and a caring and dedicated teacher to many generations of students, Norman  played an influential role in Caribbean development, transcending language and geographical borders.

Norman’s association with the UWI began in 1959, when he entered the University College of the West Indies to study economics.  He went on to pursue doctoral studies at the London School of Economics and later returned to the University of the West Indies to teach in the Department of Economics at Mona.   He had a stellar career at the UWI, including  serving as Director of the Consortium Graduate School of the Social Sciences (CGSSS) at the Mona Campus.  He was part of the merger of the CGSSS with the Institute for Social and Economic Research into the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies in 2000.  His work and service were not confined to the realms of academe, and he served as Director-General of the National Planning Agency in Jamaica, now the Planning Institute of Jamaica.  He also served as the second Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States from 2000 to 2004.  In 2010 he was appointed UN Good Officer in the on-going Guyana-Venezuela border dispute.    

Following his sojourn at the ACS, he returned to The UWI as a Distinguished Research Fellow in the Institute of International Relations at the St. Augustine Campus.  A significant amount of his work focussed on fostering Caribbean integration and the region has lost an advocate, an unrepentant integrationist who did not hesitate to challenge the leadership of the region on their own commitment to the vision of the Founding Fathers of the Caribbean Community.  

One of his significant and enduring contributions was the establishment of the Association of Caribbean Economists.  At the 1st Conference of Caribbean Economists held in Kingston, Jamaica in 1987, his reputation as an eminently qualified and highly respected development economist whose vision of the region was a Pan-Caribbean one, involving all language areas of the region, resulted in the participation of 80 persons primarily economists from all four language areas of the Caribbean, as well as North America. At that Conference, by resolution, the Association of Caribbean Economists was established with Norman at the helm.  His commitment to the main objective of ACE was uncompromising and reflected his own ideals: to promote professional exchange and collaboration amongst the region’s economists which would in turn contribute to the economic development and sovereignty of the peoples and states of the Caribbean, and to economic cooperation and integration within the Caribbean.

We extend our deepest condolences to his family, Jasmine, Ramon, Alexander and Alatashe, and mourn with them, the loss of a true son of the Caribbean. 


E. Nigel Harris



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