The CARICOM Regional Energy Apprenticeship Programme (REAP) provides young professionals with the opportunity to gain meaningful hands-on experience at a regional institution deploying sustainable energy technologies and applications across CARICOM.
Our current cohort of REAP Associates provide technical expertise in the spheres of energy systems development, energy diplomacy, knowledge management and communications, programme management, policy and regulatory affairs, among other areas, at the following regional institutions:
REAP was conceptualised by the Energy Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat and is implemented by the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC) in collaboration with the abovementioned partner institutions. The REAP is made possible through the financial support of the European Union.
We are pleased to introduce you to The Future of Energy, the 2020/2021 REAP cohort. We encourage you to read their profiles, experiences, key initiatives they’ve worked on to date, and a word of advice for future candidates.
Mentor: Dr. Devon Gardner | Devon.Gardner@Caricom.org
Azell Francis hails proudly from the beautiful twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Azell is a doctoral scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on Energy and Sustainable Development. With a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Applied Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management, Azell considers herself a connector who can bridge the gap between the technical, economic, and policy sides of energy.
Azell is actively involved with the Energy Club at Georgia Tech, serving as a two-term Chair of the Southeastern Energy Conference and the Corporate Relations Chair. She is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and is passionate about increasing the number of women and girls in STEM.
Azell serves as the President of the Rotaract Club of Peachtree City and is on the Board of the Rotary Club of Peachtree City as the Community Service Director. She is actively involved at her alma mater, serving as the President of the Young Alumni Board, and was inducted as a member of the 2020 Georgia Southern 40 under 40 alumni class.
The Regional Energy Apprenticeship Programme offers me the opportunity to gain work experience as an Energy Policy Associate and apply my research skills in a meaningful and impactful way. I hope to improve my understanding of the regional energy sector and serve as an asset in the regional energy transformation towards a stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient Caribbean community. Through this experience, I am excited to play an instrumental role in framing the regional energy policy 2025 - 2040. It is an incredible opportunity to be mentored and supervised by Dr. Gardner and to be able to learn from the region’s leading energy scholars and practitioners. I am also looking forward to the fellowship with my fellow “REAP-ers”, as we all strive to make a difference and be of service to our region.
“Energy Vision for the Caribbean” Statement
Energy lives at the centre of my life because energy is essential to life, and is at the heart of achieving all of the sustainable development goals. Energy is directly linked to our well-being and quality of life. In the Caribbean, we need to ensure access to reliable, resilient, environmentally-responsible, and affordable energy for our benefit as citizens, and more broadly, to support our national and regional goals.
My vision for a resilient Caribbean is one where we have mastered the 5Rs of Resilience- Robustness, Redundancy, Resourcefulness, Response, and Recovery. I envision a Caribbean that is truly ready for all hazards. A resilient Caribbean is no longer predominantly reliant on expensive and imported fossil-fuels, and our transformation will be powered by the inclusion of more renewable energy sources.
Mentor: Gerald Lindo | Gerald Lindo email@example.com
Dana Lawrence was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica. She attended St Andrew High School for girls where she focused on the sciences. During her time in high school, she attended an engineering workshop and met female engineers who inspired her to pursue the field. Dana enrolled in the Electrical Power Engineering program at the University of the West Indies and completed her studies in 2020. She developed an interest in energy, specifically renewable energy, which was the focus of her capstone project. She was an intern at the Cogeneration plant at the university where she gained practical experience and insight on various aspects in the field such as HVAC systems. Dana is currently undertaking an internship at the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency where she expects to gain more experience and develop professionally as an engineer.
My internship at the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency has provided a path for me to gain much knowledge and I have had the opportunity to apply what I learned in school from various courses. I continue to learn from experts and experienced personnel in the field on both the supply and demand sides. I have had several opportunities to be involved in meetings and projects which has aided me in the development of technical skills as well as soft skills such as communication, collaboration and leadership. I enjoy being a part of the energy solution for the region through various means such as the Integrated Resource and Resilience Plans (IRRP).
Mentor: Lenox Forte | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Siriram is a versatile energy professional from Trinidad and Tobago with 8 years of experience in the energy and environmental sectors. She is currently participating in the REAP with the CARICOM Development Fund as a Project Development Support Intern in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Geology from Imperial College London and the University of Melbourne as well as a Master’s degree in Energy and Resources Management from University College London, Australia.
Kathryn has achieved a diverse range of technical expertise as a geophysicist, geologist, renewable energy consultant and energy analyst both locally and internationally. Driven by her passion to promote climate change action and sustainable energy use within Caribbean region, she takes pride in providing the best of her knowledge and experience in her various roles. As an advocate for clean energy, her goals include raising public awareness of climate change effects on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and participating in initiatives to advance the use of innovative renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
In addition to her primary job functions, Kathryn has been recognized by the organisation Island Innovation and selected as a 2021 Island Ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago due to her commitment towards achieving a positive change in public attitudes and contributing to efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on island nations.
I am so excited to participate in the REAP as it is my hope to gain a greater exposure to and understanding of various aspects of the regional energy sector through this programme. Due to my interest in advancing sustainable energy, I look forward to learning new skills through the training courses offered during the internship, being introduced to energy professionals in various regional organisations, gaining valued experience and advice from my Mentor and other members of the CDF and being able to attend different capacity building workshops in the areas of climate change and clean energy which I would not have been exposed to without the knowledge sharing and networking opportunities offered through the REAP. It has also been a pleasure to meet other interns in the programme and it is hoped that through our shared experiences we can all contribute to a positive change in the region.
Jean-Michel Parle | email@example.com
Algon Meikle | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordon Hayles is a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Power Engineering from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. He has engineering experience from various internships – the most recent of which was with the Mona-Tech Engineering Services Limited located on the UWI, Mona Campus, where he worked at the liquid natural gas (LNG) operated combined heat and power (CHP) facility that provided electricity and cooling to the campus. He is currently at the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as an Energy Systems Engineer Associate Supply-Side where he works on the organisation’s Integrated Resource and Resilience Planning Team – a team that executes one of the flagship programmes of the organisation.
From this experience, I look forward to working with and receive training and mentorship from the experts at the CCREEE. I am excited to build my skillset in the various modelling and optimization software and grateful for this opportunity to get exposure to techno-economic analysis and resource optimization and whatever else I can get involved in to increase my exposure and professional development.
Mentor: Thomas Mitschke | email@example.com
Elizabeth Bullock holds a B.Sc. Physics with minors in Environmental Physics and Electronics and an M.Phil. Physics with focus in Geothermal energy and Geophysics, both from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. She possesses over 4 years of research experience in renewable and geothermal energy, writing, data analysis, organization, planning, and communication. She has contributed to geothermal research blogs, white papers, and technical reports to educate and channel more awareness on the geothermal and renewable energy front. She has taken part in and presented on her research work at various international conferences. Ms. Bullock is passionate about the increased and continued deployment of renewable energy technologies toward the goal of guaranteed sustainability within the Caribbean region. This motivates her desire to be an ambassador for sustainable energy solutions in the region. She believes that the region is a gold mine of natural resources, talent, and capacity, just waiting to be harvested appropriately to yield the desired economic and social benefits. Ms. Bullock is enthusiastic about lending her skills and experience in making this belief a reality.
During my internship with CARILEC, I hope to contribute to the efforts which spearhead sustainable energy developments within the region by conducting research, performing modelling and analysis, and providing support through collaboration and engagement with the CARILEC team towards upholding the organization’s mission, vision, and values. At the end of my internship, I expect to have gained more insights and on-hand experience regarding energy policy, solutions, and decisions and to have acquired a wealth of knowledge and training in renewable energy and energy efficiency, electricity and sustainable strategies and methodologies for Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, I hope that I would have honed my skills further in preparation to tackle higher levels of responsibilities in the Caribbean’s energy sector.
Mentor: Janice Hillaire | firstname.lastname@example.org
Diakia Straker is an International Trade and Development Analyst. She currently holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology, Jamaica and Master of Science in International Trade Policy from the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. She also holds certifications in Project Management and Results-Based Management and is currently pursuing the Certified Associate in Project Management designation.
After the completion of her masters, Diakia successfully served as a Project Assistant on the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States Masters in International Trade Policy (OECS-MITP) Project (2020) which supported a fully funded scholarship programme for 22 students for the OECS.
Currently, Mrs. Straker is participating in the TAPSEC REAP where she serves as the Project Intern on the Regional Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Energy Project at CROSQ. Through this assignment she is exposed to the intricacies of Quality Infrastructure, with a focus in the energy sector, and its importance to the region’s development goals.
During this internship, I have gained invaluable regional experience. Working alongside and interacting with experts from across the region has been simply invigorating. Being able to build my network, connect with and engage different industry practitioners has helped to build my confidence and hone my communication and project management skills.
I have learnt a great deal about the Energy Sector and Quality Infrastructure. Through the different sessions I have attended, from the WTO TBT Committee meetings to the CARICOM’s COTED on Energy, to CDB Trainings, etc., has helped me to develop a wider understanding of the unique challenges that the region faces. Therefore, I am confident that as I develop my career, the experience I have gained through the REAP will definitely influence the contributions I will make to the region’s development.
Mentor: Devon Gardner | Devon.Gardner@Caricom.org
Khadija is a Graduate Student pursuing Master’s in International Energy Science at Kyoto University, Japan, with a little over four (4) years of experience in energy planning and strategy.
In 2012, she attended the University of West Indies St. Augustine Trinidad, under the Professional and Technical scholarship granted by the Government of Belize, and achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering June 2015, ranking first place in her graduating class and a valedictory nominee.
July 2015, Khadija was hired by Belize Electricity Limited as a Trainee Engineer, Generation Planning. Her duties encompassed the management of local and international energy supply, including liaising between the Utility, Independent Power Producers and Regulatory Affairs.
While working, during the periods 2016- May 2018, Khadija completed a Masters in Business Administration from the University South Wales. She was also promoted to Generation Planning Engineering in January 2018. She spear-headed national projects, such as ‘Belize’s Energy Planning and Strategy 2035’, and ‘USTDA Feasibility study for solar and wind Renewable Energy in Belize’. She sat on the company’s planning and negotiating team involved in the drafting of power purchase agreements between the utility and power producers, and the company’s planning and implementation team to execute the Utility’s new corporate sustainable strategic direction.
In April 2019, she moved to Japan to pursue research and further graduate study at Kyoto University. Her research investigates governance in re-structured electricity supply systems for small developing economies. The research highlights that with the widespread of fundamental sustainability problems affecting several domains, modern societies require the diversity of governance approach, having a combined macro-micro perspective, if it is to successfully achieve energy transformation.
I am always most excited to engage with new people. For me, this is very important in my field of work. Whilst the apprenticeship provides an opportunity to broaden my professional horizon, field experience really serves to humanize the work that I do. I think especially in policy and planning, it is very easy to become buried in the data, models and general intent in order to establish a high-level outlook of the issue. It is only via engaging with individuals of various backgrounds and sectors that the work remains grounded through a diversity of insight, and that policy can prove to be a satisfactory representation of people’s realities.
Mentor: Wayne Vitalis | email@example.com
I would like to do whatever I can, within my own sphere of influence, to create a sustainable environment. As such, it is an honour to work with the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) via the Renewable Energy Apprenticeship Programme. Through this internship, I was tasked with the responsibility of providing implementation support for the CDF’s new initiative, the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF) which is currently in its operational phase. During my tenure at the CDF, I assisted in preparing for the launch of the CRAF, aided the consulting team in whatever tasks were needed, and sat in on negotiating meeting with parties interested in being a part of the CRAF.
Prior to the CDF, I was privileged to do a two-month internship with the Caribbean Centre of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) collecting relevant energy data within my home country of Trinidad and Tobago. I also aid the University of the Southern Caribbean through my work as a Chemistry Lab Technician.
I recently graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus where attained the Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy Technology. Prior to this, I received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry with Double Minors in Analytical Chemistry and Psychology.
During my down time, I enjoy cooking and playing the piano.
During my internship with the CDF, I would like to learn about various renewable energy projects that are happening within the Caribbean. I also hope to learn about the various economic factors necessary for a successful energy project. Also, as the Credit Risk Abatement Facility is a new venture for the organisation, I am excited to learn about what would be needed to get this project up and running. I believe that some experience in project management would be advantageous for me especially since I am interested in doing consultancy work in the future. Finally, I am desirous of networking with not only my colleagues within the CDF, but with key persons within the Caribbean who are doing their part to advance renewable energy integration within our region.
I joined the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) one month prior to the launch of their newest initiative, the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF). As the intern designated to work towards the development of the CRAF, I was immediately tasked with assisting with its launch event, in conjunction with the CCREEE’s Project Preparation Facility (PPF). Thankfully, the event was well attended with persons joining the celebration both in person and online.
Other than that, I spent my internship learning about the intricacies and aspects of the CRAF. Additionally, I sat in on meetings with various stakeholders within the Caribbean region as well as the wider international community.
I conclude this internship with the CRAF in its operational phase where negotiations are being finalized. I hope to one day continue this work with the CDF.
Mentor: Charlin Bodley | Charlin@ccreee.org
Sapphire Vital is a young professional who is enthusiastic about sustainable energy and resilient infrastructure development. She is a recent graduate from the University of Oxford with a MSc in Environmental Change and Management and holds a BSc in Civil with Environmental Engineering from the University of the West Indies. Sapphire recently joined the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency under the Regional Energy Apprenticeship Programme with a focus on project development in the newly launched Project Preparation Facility. In her career thus far, Sapphire has worked with several fascinating initiatives ranging from a long-term infrastructure assessment in St. Lucia with the United Nations Office for Project Services to a circular-economy rural electrification project in Northern Uganda with the renewable energy start-up Mandulis Energy.
Sapphire welcomes opportunities to advocate for the climate compatible development of Small Island Developing States. She represented her island Dominica as the 2020 Ambassador for Island Innovation’s Virtual Island Summit and 2020 Ambassador for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States’ Sustainable Development Movement. Most recently, she has been chosen as a 2021 One Young World Ambassador and Summit Scholarship Recipient.
As she charts her career path, Sapphire is excited about utilizing her expertise to make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of her island and the Caribbean region.
As I am primarily attached to the Project Preparation Facility (PPF), to date I have been involved in several key activities focused on the launch and validation of the facility. Now about halfway through my internship period, on the cusp of the full operationalisation of the PPF, I am particularly looking forward to being a part of evaluating and supporting sustainable energy projects from the private and public sector. As a young organisation CCREEE is engaged with wide spectrum of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. Thus beyond the PPF, I have been privy to be involved in the Energy Access Programme, Emergency Response Programme, gender mainstreaming, and sustainable transport. In the balance of my internship, I look forward to broadening my knowledge through continued engagement in these areas.
Mentor: Leighton Waterman | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheldon Marshall is a postgraduate student pursuing an MSc in Renewable Energy Management at the University of the West Indies Mona, with special interest in renewable energy technologies and solutions, and buildings as energy systems. He is a certified Photovoltaic Associate through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, thus solidifying his keen interest in renewables. While completing a BSc in Energy and Environmental Physics at the UWI Mona, Sheldon co-authored a peer-reviewed article; “A Review into the Caribbean Geothermal Energy Resource Potential” (2020) and has since spent some time investigating renewable energy within the region through research. He has also done research, pending publication, that examined the pathways toward 100% renewable energy for Barbados, evaluating the impact of demand side management and how it would shape the targeted generation with case scenarios. To complete his MSc, he is currently examining the feasibility of large scale, self-sustained homes within the region and the potential impact for the local economies.
Coming from physics into renewable energy, I have always been interested in the technologies themselves. However, I have since been keen to learn more about the identification of potential renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that can be prepared to fill the gaps within our region. I am excited to see, hands on, what goes into the process of preparing a project. It’s one thing to hear of the components necessary for sustainable energy projects in the classroom, but it’s another thing to see how all the components interact and work within the system to deliver desired outcomes. I am excited to learn from the team at CDB and to network with my colleagues and fellow REAP interns. I believe that a group of bright young minds, with a common goal and varied perspectives, is what the region needs to support its drive toward a sustainable energy future.
Dr. DEVON GARDNER has been the Programme Manager for Energy and Head of the Energy Unit at the Caribbean Community Secretariat, since September 2014.
In this role, Dr. Gardner has oversight of the Energy Programme, which is tasked with the identification of common policies and strategies for transforming the energy sector within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The new Energy Programme promotes a transition to energy systems that favour sustainable and clean energy production, as well as efficient delivery and us, which simultaneously provides legal certainty for investors and improves predictability in price and supply for users.
Devon has published over fifty (50) peer reviewed articles, as well as numerous reports and
studies, and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Chemical Physics with
specialization in numerical analysis, from the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus)
I am driven by the need to see the development of people and societies to achieving their full potential within a globalised world. The following highlights reflect my modest efforts.
Seven years’ service as Director, Regional Development Division with the responsibility to oversee the design, implementation and monitoring of more than 22 projects in 8 Member States defined as disadvantaged in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas through CDF’s Country Assistance Programmes (CAPs). Responsibility for the preparation of the indicative country allocations of funding for national programmes as well as recommending to Member States in collaboration with the rest of management, the thematic priorities agreed for the CDF. In the role of Director also responsible for developing and implementing the budget of CDF disbursements. During the last two years have been increasingly involved in hands on management of the Country Assistance Programmes as the portfolio of active projects expanded. This has led inter alia to an intimate interest in clean energy and its role in increasing productivity, incomes and the standard of living of persons residing in CARICOM.
Five years’ service in the conception, design and implementation of policies and procedures for the operationalisation of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) including the development of a draft charter setting out its legal personae, facilitating the recruitment of the first senior staff members, preparing the first budget, work programme as well as the investment policy strategy. Two of these years have been as Manager Corporate Development and Programming with wide responsibility for the design and implementation of procedures for the development of the CDF as a fully operational entity such as supporting the resource mobilization effort, project design, recruitment of consultants, development of the CDF logo, code of conduct and the first mission statement. My Extra curricula activities have evolved into an avid interest in mobile technology, financial innovation and its delivery and payments systems. I am also keen in keeping abreast of ideas on health and wellness including spiritual well-being. I enjoy action, spy and thriller movies.
Twenty-six years’ service in the collection, compilation and analysis of financial and economic statistics to determine the financial status of public enterprises, the government, domestic debt and financial sectors. This experience was complemented with policy advice, research, and management experience. Nine of these years were in senior management with responsibility for the work, on average, of one senior economist, four economists and their assistants and policy advice to senior management and Department Heads. In addition, participated in project teams established to introduce new management support systems in the Central Bank. During the last two years of that stint, I was involved in the process of advancing regional integration specifically in competition policy and special and differential treatment for vulnerable member states. Extra curricula activities then included part-time lectures in Banking & Finance, International Finance, (Undergraduate level) Development Finance (Post Graduate level) and Excel software along with private research activities involving the non-government sector.
As a mentor, I look forward to the transformation of individuals and shortening their learning curve from student to employee or young professional. My hope is to encourage them to develop a sense of curiosity in the field of clean energy, a love for research, exploration of multiple alternative solutions to any given problem and a ‘can do’ mentality to any issue placed before them in the challenging and rapidly changing field of energy.
My vision of a resilient Caribbean is one where the quality of life and work is dignified on account of the role that clean affordable energy can play in reducing the need for persons to be employed in low skilled, low paying jobs and; the resilient aspect and speed of recovery following adverse shocks. Clean affordable energy linked to technology can transform low paying jobs dominated by women such as private security where instead of the need for patrolling desolate compounds sometimes alone in the dead of night, they can instead monitor them in the safety of a secured welcoming location and can get assistance dispatched at the push of a button. Clean affordable energy with shorter distribution channels to consumers allow for faster recovery after disasters.
A resilient Caribbean is important to me because it will determine the quality of life of my younger family members and assure me of a relatively safer and cleaner world during my golden years. It will allow for the preservation of the beauty of the Caribbean as I know it for others to see and enjoy and most of all it will preserve the special ecology that gives the Caribbean its signature as a paradise.
Dipl.-Wi.-Ing. (M.Sc.-Eq.) Thomas Mitschke is a certified Expert for Energy Efficiency and an Engineer in Environmental and Energy Engineering and Economics, graduated from the University of Flensburg, Germany.
Throughout his professional career over the past 15 years, Thomas’ primary focus has been on linking engineering and economic issues of the energy sector to innovative and sustainable solutions for the industry as well as for supporting policies and regulatory frameworks.
After first experiences with designing and calculating renewable and waste-to-energy projects at an engineering office in Hamburg, Germany, Thomas gained extensive knowledge as a project engineer for a German energy supplier and energy service provider, managing the regional bioenergy portfolio of the company and developing and implementing projects for energy-supply- and energy-performance-contracting (ESCo).
By harnessing his field-based technology experience from the construction and operation site, Thomas expanded his activities in the RE and EE sector to the implementing energy policy advice as an energy consultant for different projects and organizations worldwide. He involves himself not only in the design and elaboration of technical concepts and studies, but also in the drafting of policies and regulations as well as the planning and implementation of measures to building new capacities. With his expertise regarding the techno-financial viability and the implementation of both, RE and EE projects, Thomas successfully contributed to the implementation of a multitude of market-oriented and realistic projects and policies for energy transition worldwide.
At CARILEC, Thomas works as an Advisor for Energy Solutions, providing technical support, capacity-building and advice on energy solution issues in CARILEC, available to both, the internal staff and the membership. He looks forward to cooperating as a mentor within the Regional Energy Apprenticeship Program (REAP) with the objective to share and gain new perspectives, ideas and sector insights. Thomas and his colleagues at CARILEC consider the REAP as an excellent opportunity of hands-on learning for the apprentices and an important contribution to building new capacities for energy transition in the region.
Ms Janice Hilaire is a Project Management professional who joined the CROSQ team in 2014 as a Project Coordinator. In 2016 she assumed responsibility for Resource Mobilisation and Programme Development at CROSQ; and also manages the Organisation’s energy portfolio. Ms Hilaire was part of the team which saw the creation of this portfolio at CROSQ and is instrumental in sourcing funds, development of proposals and management of these initiatives in advancement of the regional energy agenda and priorities. As part of this responsibility, Ms Hilaire coordinates the Regional Quality Component of the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainability in the Caribbean and the Quality for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean Project. These two initiatives are focused on the 2018 CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code and the establishment and implementation of a Harmonised Regional Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme of Domestic Appliances. Before joining the CROSQ team in 2014, Ms Hilaire was employed with the James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund as a Project Coordinator where she managed a youth at risk project.
Ms Hilaire began her professional career as a Development Cooperation and Programme Planning Officer in the Ministry of Economic and Physical Planning in Saint Lucia. She then joined the Ministry of Agriculture in that country as an Economist (where she served for five years) with special responsibility for the Fisheries sector. Since then, she has worked in public, private and regional institutions in various project management roles, focusing on issues such as the elderly, change management, youth at risk, quality infrastructure and more recently energy.
Ms Hilaire holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Economics and Management from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados; and a Master’s in Business Administration with a specialisation in Project Management from the University of Reading, Henley Business School in the UK as well as certificates in Project Design, Preparation and Planning. She is currently pursuing a Micro Master’s Degree in Sustainable Energy from the University of Queensland in Australia.
My expectations (as it relates to my role as a mentor) is to be instrumental in the process and to have contributed where a young professional with no previous exposure to energy would have developed an interest (from this experience) in energy issues. It is anticipated that this orientation would contribute to the intern developing skills, knowledge and capacity in quality infrastructure in energy and will gain an understanding of CROSQ flagship initiatives – the Regional Harmonised Energy Efficiency Labelling Schemes and the Energy Efficiency Building Codes. From this experience the intern would appreciate the critical role which quality infrastructure, such as development of standards and other quality services, can play in advancing the regional energy agenda and fighting climate change and as a result will be willing to contribute professionally to the energy and quality infrastructure sectors.
Ms Charlin Bodley is the Sustainable Energy Project Development and Gender Expert with the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), where she is responsible for the establishment and operation of the CCREEE Project Preparation Facility (PPF). As the gender expert at the CCREEE she is also engaged in mainstreaming gender into all the Centre’s work, ensuring that gender and youth responsive programmes and initiatives are implemented as, a critical contribution to the centre’s operations. She also is responsible for the Sustainable Transport portfolio within the CCREEE. Charlin holds a Masters of Engineering (MEng) degree in Energy and Environmental Management from the University of Flensburg, Germany; a post-graduate diploma in Geothermal Project Management and Financing from the United Nations Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland, and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Environmental Engineering from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico.
Charlin previously worked as an Energy Specialist with the Government of Saint Lucia for over seven (7) years and a consultant in the area of sustainable energy. A certified project manager, she engaged in energy planning, policy development and the management of public sector renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Charlin is the founder of the Women in Geothermal Energy (WING) Caribbean Chapter, with a goal to influence, diversity and accelerate the development of the resource in the region. She has also served as Programme Manager for the Women in Renewable Energy Network (WIRE), managed by a collaboration between the Clinton Climate Initiative and Caribbean Electric Utility Services (CARILEC). She is to date a member of the WIRE network.
Charlin’s passionate for a sustainable energy transitions in the Caribbean region cannot be understated.
My vision for the sector in the Caribbean
“A transformed climate-resilient, low-carbon and sustainable energy sector which leverages indigenous resources to deliver affordable energy services to all Caribbean people, inclusively.”
My mentoring experience to date
This unique opportunity to mentor a young professional in the field, has been gratifying. The experience has surely reminded me of the talent and competence that we as Caribbean people possess, but also reaffirmed my position that young people must be engaged at all levels for a successful energy transition. Our organisations will constantly require diversity through creating space for fresh new ideas added to experienced voices. I have particularly been pleased to also - in subtle ways - encourage work life balance. My anticipation is that the CCREEE will continue along a trajectory of exponential growth as the sole regional agency responsible for the implementation of sustainable energy. For this reason, among others, I strongly support the mentoring and coaching of young professionals in the energy field to foster insight, identify and fill capacity gaps, and expand growth opportunities. Consequently, my mentoring experience under this programme has allowed me an opportunity to facilitate the aforementioned and be a part of facilitating business continuation within the CCREEE as it expands and fulfils a unique and very critical mandate.
Noteworthy, is the fact that this journey has been a two way street, and involved the building of an equal relationship characterized by trust, the sharing of expertise, moral support and reliability. I have enjoyed knowing when to step forward with active support or passive support, and contrarily, when to just sit back and observe the organic professional growth of my mentee. Through active and passive mentoring, my focus was mainly on practicing several work and life skills such as self-awareness, time management, motivation, influencing, decision making, and problem solving. My mentee was allowed to lead initiatives, sometimes with minimum intervention from me. Her voice has always been encouraged in both internal and external discussions as a CCREEE team member. In fact, as a woman professional in energy and a proponent of a more level playing field between men and women in the field, it has been a pleasure facilitating the building of confidence and equipping her to overcome gender related barriers which may be experienced throughout her career.
All in all, this experience has been fulfilling, reciprocal and in essence a great return on investment as I have observed the professional and personal growth of the mentee.
Gerald Lindo helps people transform energy systems and adapt to climate change, using skills and experience in engineering, policy analysis, management, and multilateral engagement. Gerald is the Sustainable Energy Expert at the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, where he works on regional programme of energy activities. His prior experience in the Caribbean includes technical roles in ministries responsible for energy and climate change, and with the United States Agency for International Development. He served Jamaica, CARICOM and the Alliance of Small Island States as a negotiator under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and on the Executive Board of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism. He has over 10 years of professional experience in energy policy, climate policy, risk management and programme management.
Expectations: to provide young professionals with career advice and feedback, and to learn from young professionals how their experience may be improved, with an eye towards regional talent retention.
Vision statement: A Caribbean with less pollution, less driving, more life, and universal access to affordable, abundant energy from entirely carbon-free sources.
Mr. Wayne Vitalis is the Financial Controller with the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF).
He has over twenty-seven (27) years’ experience at the Executive Management level spanning the Public and Private Sectors in Management, Banking, Finance Investment Promotion and Facilitation and worked with Regional Organizations. Over the last 11 years he has been responsible for overseeing the Financial Management of CDF’s resources and Compliance. More recently, Mr. Vitalis has been involved in the development of innovative financial solutions that respond to the needs of its stakeholders in the energy sector and is Technical Lead for the establishment of the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF)
Mr. Vitalis is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with the New Hampshire State Board of Accountancy, a Chartered Global Management Accountant with the American Institute of Certified Accountants (AICPA) and holds professional certificates from the New York Institute of Finance. He is also the holder of BSc (Accounting and Finance) from the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus.
Mr. Jean Michel Parle is a trained mechanical engineer with ten years of experience in planning and project development.
From February 2020, he has served as the Generation Expansion Engineer at the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE). There, he leads the development of three Integrated Resource and Resilience Plans (IRRPs) under the centre’s flagship IRRP Programme. Its aim is to support the development of long-term, resilient, and sustainable power system plans for CARICOM member states.
Before the CCREEE, Jean-Michel served in several different positions at a vertically-integrated, Caribbean electric utility. In these roles, he focused primarily on planning, project development and business development activities for the utility, with an emphasis on modern and sustainable technologies. In addition, he conducted research, evaluations, and analyses for technical management, supported multi-departmental data requests, engaged staff and customers to help raise awareness and build capacity, and served on several technical committees.
During his academic training in Canada, Jean-Michel was a member of several engineering organisations, and benefitted from several trainee work experiences, which include a one-year internship and summer attachment in the construction industry, and an international summer exchange at a graduate training institute in South Korea. These formative experiences contributed greatly to his growth and perspective.
Jean-Michel is originally from Saint Lucia, but currently resides in Barbados.
Algon Meikle is the Power System Engineer leading the work of the Power Systems Expansion Unit. Mr. Meikle career in the electrical power industry spans over 25 years with him working in the Caribbean and North America. Beginning at the Jamaica Public Service Company, he has been engaged as a Designer working with Substation Design Teams, as well as a Lead Planner on Distribution Planning, Transmission Planning and Grid interconnection teams.
Mr Meikle has assessed the integration requirements for distributed energy resource projects including solar PV systems and wind farms and interconnection studies to ensure reliable connection under fault conditions.
Mr Meikle holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of the West Indies (St Augustine), he is a registered Profession Engineer (PE), a senior member of IEEE as well as a member of several other engineering societies.
Role in the organisation and department
As a member of the Power Systems Expansion Division, Mr Meikle works closely with other units within the organisation in the development of the Integrated Resource and Resilience Plans, conducting grid analysis and energy modelling within the electricity sector, with the view of increasing the reliability, robustness, and resilience of the system to high impact low probability climatic events.
An energy vision for the Caribbean statement
As we work to build a more resilient Caribbean, my vision is to significantly reduce the dependency on external entity for energy needed to support the Caribbean’s growth through the integration of the Caribbean as unified partners in developing our resilience within the sector.
Leighton Waterman is currently the Sustainable Energy Specialist at the Caribbean Development Bank. He has worked in the energy sector at both the national and regional level and in both government and private sector. His experience also extends to the international level having worked as the SIDS Lighthouses Programme Officer at the International Renewable Energy Agency based in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. He has extensive experience in project and programme management for various development agencies in the region including, Inter-American Development Bank, UK Department for International Development (now the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office) and, the United Nations Development Programme. His interests include renewable energy use in non-energy sectors, disaster risk reduction and renewable energy awareness and education.
Mr Waterman is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus – BSc (Hons) Chemical Engineering; University of Delaware – MA Urban Affairs and Public Policy; University of Manchester – MBA.
He is a member of the Energy Institute (MEI) and the Project Management Institute.
I hope that in my role as mentor I can support the growth and development of my mentee through sharing my experiences – good, bad and in-between. That he will want to continue to work in the Caribbean energy sector and make a substantial contribution in the years to come. I also hope to learn from my mentee as I see this as a two-way opportunity.
An energy vision for the Caribbean statement
o As we work to build a resilient Caribbean, my vision is one where energy independence is a reality. Access, affordability and appropriateness are achieved by each country in accordance with their specific needs.
o Energy lives at the centre of my life because (state reason)
o My vision for a resilient Caribbean is one where Caribbean people not need to fear that they will be without energy (electricity, transportation fuels) for extended periods of time following a natural/manmade disaster