Hadassah Ward (left) and Janice Braithwaite-Edwards.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The reshuffling of staff in the tourism sector by Government continues with the appointment of former Director of Tourism, Ms. Hadassah Ward as Tourism Liaison Officer within the Premier's Office.
The post of Tourism Liaison Officer was previously held briefly by Mrs. Janice Braithwaite-Edwards, who was appointed on April 2, 2012, but was recently moved to the Ministry of Communications and Works where she was appointed City Manager.
According to Government, Ward's appointment takes effect from October 1 and she is expected to work closely with the BVI Tourist Board and cross ministries to ensure the effective development of the tourism product and ministry.
Although the post of Tourism Liaison Officer is not new, Government said that Ward's appointment is part of its continuing effort to further strengthen the Territory's tourism product by putting in place the necessary assistance for developing a Ministry of Tourism.
The Government did not say how Ward would help set up a Ministry of Tourism.
Braithwaite-Edwards' tenure as Director of Tourism ended shortly after she was sent on leave in 2008 by former Premier and Tourism Minister, Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal. Ward succeeded Braithwaite-Edwards as the Director of Tourism.
Ward served as Director of Tourism from August 2008 and was confirmed in the position in August 2010.
Ward's appointment to the Premier's Office leaves a vacancy at the BVI Tourist Board for a Director of Tourism.
Malcia Smith-Hamilton has been the Acting Director of Tourism since Ward proceeded on leave. BVI Platinum News understands that the appointment of a substantive director will soon be made and that a current member of the Board of Directors is in the running for the post.
Ward served as Director of Tourism, steering the board towards the strategic positioning of the Virgin Islands as the ultimate niche travel destination, with a focus on improving the tourism product and growing tourism businesses.
Prior to managing the board, Ward served as its Deputy Director and Product Development Manager in Tortola and London, UK.
Ward began her public service career in 2001 as the Deputy Governor's Personal Assistant, managing his private office. Subsequently, she worked as the Clerk of Executive Council, now the BVI Cabinet, and Manager of the Governor's private office. There, she refined her knowledge of public policy and management while working closely with Ministers and senior officers in every aspect of Government.
Before her transfer to the BVI Tourist Board, Ward served as the Deputy Director of the BVI London Office, responsible for the BVI Government's diplomatic relationship with the United Kingdom and the European Union. She worked with many Government ministries and statutory bodies to maximise the BVI's benefits from its special relationship as an Overseas Territory.
Ward's experience also spans the private sector in the United States. While working in the field of financial services and insurance, she worked her way up from a Project Administrator to manage projects related to product development, corporate marketing, strategic planning, sales, customer service, IT systems and website development.
A graduate of Wesleyan University in Indiana, USA, Ward holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and is a Fellow in the Life Management Institute. She also holds a diploma in French and an Associate Degree in English, History and Sociology. She is a lifetime member of Pi Gamma Mu Honour Society.