MS. LYDIA JACOBS
On Monday 5 September 2016, the Ministry of National Security welcomed Ms. Lydia Jacobs as its new Permanent Secretary.
For over three decades, Ms. Jacobs has worked tirelessly to contribute to the development and transformation of the Public Service through sound human resource practice.
Prior to her appointment at the Ministry of National Security, she served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications from April 2016, preceded by her service at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.
She was appointed Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in March 2014 and up until her reappointment in September 2015, provided managerial support to the Permanent Secretary in planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the core and administrative support functions of the Ministry of Health.
Permanent Secretary Jacobs has honed and developed expertise in Human Resources, having worked as the Director of Human Resources for seven years at the Office of the Parliament, and as a Senior Human Resources Officer for six years at the Ministries of Agriculture and Health.
Her work in HR is coupled with experience in the Accounts Division of the Ministries of Health and National Security, and other roles she played at those Ministries before her several appointments.
Her practical experience is augmented by an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Management from the University of the West Indies as well as a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. She has also received Certification in Strategic Management for Public Service Organisations and other leadership and HR-related training.
Mr. Vel Lewis brings a vast amount of experience in public sector management and leadership to the Ministry of National Security. Before coming to the Ministry, Mr. Lewis served as Permanent Secretary in Tobago at the former Ministry of Tobago Development. With the change in administration and re-organization of government ministries in 2015, he was assigned to the office of the Prime Minister where he served as Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Tobago Affairs.
He was appointed Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development in 2014 but served prior to this as acting Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Culture Ministry. He gave many years of service in that ministry in the area of arts and cultural heritage management. Mr. Lewis served as curator of the National Museum Service and led many state heritage bodies and developed policies and programmes for historic preservation, community heritage and the transmission of traditional knowledge. He also lectured part-time at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, and has authored/edited several publications on art and heritage management.
Mr. Lewis studied visual arts at the UWI and obtained a Master’s degree in Museum and Heritage Studies from the University of Leicester, UK. He also holds an MBA and has completed training in project management and strategic planning at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, UWI, and leadership at Harvard University.