News Releases

UWI Scientist Dr. David Smith appointed to Science Policy Advisory Committee for Americas

For Release Upon Receipt - September 15, 2020


The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica, Friday, September 11, 2020—The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) has appointed UWI Scientist, Dr. David Smith, to its Science Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC). Dr. Smith who serves as Director of the Centre for Environmental Management and Coordinator of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) was elected to the Advisory Committee for a three-year term, from 2020 to 2023.

The election took place at the 28th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the IAI (CoP-28).  A regional intergovernmental institution comprising 19 nations in the Americas, the IAI promotes scientific research and capacity building related to global change issues throughout the Americas to inform decision-makers.

As a member of the SPAC, Dr. Smith will provide advice to the CoP and the IAI Directorate on how to use and design science for policy and decision-making.

This latest appointment represents another contribution by Dr. Smith in advancing The UWI’s overall strategic advocacy for Climate and Sustainable Development Action. In 2019, Dr. Smith was one of 15 independent scientists who prepared the inaugural Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), commissioned by the United Nations Secretary General. Dr. Smith also serves as Coordinator of the University Consortium of Small Island States (UCSIS), Caribbean Coordinator for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN Caribbean), and member of the advisory board of the SUNY-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, based in Manhattan, New York.

Notably, at the CoP-28 meeting on August 19, 2020, Jamaica was also elected as member to the Executive Council of the IAI. Jamaica joins Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, United States of America and Uruguay as Council members from 2020 to 2022. The role of the Executive Council is to develop policy recommendations for submission to and approval by the CoP and ensure that policies adopted by the CoP are implemented by the IAI Directorate.

Earlier, in April 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica designated The UWI, Mona and the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) as the National Focal Points to the IAI for Jamaica. From The UWI Mona Campus, Professor Michael Taylor, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, and Dr. Tannecia Stephenson, Head of Physics were appointed to serve as the designated representatives from Jamaica to the IAI.


Notes to the Editor:

For more about The UWI’s ISD:

For more about the IAI:

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018, 2019 and 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)