Danielle Coleman named HMCI director

| 28/06/2018
CNS Local Life

Danielle Coleman

(CNS Local Life): Danielle Coleman has been named Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), after having served as acting director on a rotational basis for the last six months. She is also the former Deputy Director of Preparedness and Planning for HMCI.

“Ms Coleman’s experience in disaster management is invaluable to the Cayman Islands,” said Dr Dax Basdeo, chief officer for the home affairs ministry, in a press release. “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 added, “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 10 years in a professional and volunteer capacity.

On her latest appointment, she said, “I am honoured and deeply grateful to have been selected as the director of this critical department. 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.”

Despite her legal background, Coleman has always been passionate about hazard management, stated the press release. Over the years she has acquired extensive experience in the field of disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery on local, regional and international levels.

As to local disaster relief operations, Coleman 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. Coleman also retains close connections with the International Red Cross, and continues to assist with disaster management-related training at the local branch, said the release.

Internationally, 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 their Red Cross and Department of Disaster Management in response to the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Coleman helped coordinate efforts with other response agencies and the BVI Disaster Management Office.

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 has 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.

Coleman has 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 more than 10 years. She is also a former member of the Conditional Release Board and the Human Rights Commission.

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Category: Civil Service

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