PM HARRIS: NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR COMES TO ST. KITTS AND NEVIS HIGHLY QUALIFIED AND RECOMMENDED

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 11, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, says Retired Major General Stewart Saunders, who hails from Jamaica, comes to the position as National Security Advisor eminently  recommended at the regional level and highly qualified.

The appointment of Major General Saunders to the post of National Security Advisor came following a vigorous recruitment process that commenced in November 2016.

Prime Minister Harris noted that in its efforts to fill the post, the Government reached out to the wider Caribbean region for support and assistance “and in this regard, we consulted with the Regional Security System (RSS) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), as well as with our missions overseas in encouraging suitable, experienced and qualified individuals to apply.”

Following a series of interviews by a selection panel, the retired Major General was identified as the most suitable candidate to fill the position.

Major General Saunders is a Strategic Security Practitioner and Educator with over forty years of experience at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

He has a wealth of experience in the management of natural and man-made disasters, crime management, public safety and security, crisis management, security and risk assessments.

“We feel, on this side of the House, that we have an excellent choice in the National Security Advisor,” the Prime Minister said during the Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 sitting of the National Assembly.

While the paperwork and practical experience of Major Saunders were well documented, Dr. Harris said the St. Kitts and Nevis Government required the necessary recommendations to complete the process.

He added, “We went to the Government [of Jamaica] to find out its views. The Cabinet Secretary of the current administration responded and indicated that we had an excellent find in this gentleman. So he has the support of the incumbent administration. The Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force gave a sterling recommendation of this gentleman and the University of the West Indies Academic Director, Dr. Hilton McDavid, who is in charge of the Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies programme, gave him also an excellent recommendation.”

As National Security Advisor, Major General Saunders will, among other things, contribute to the formulation of national security policies; serve on any committee, commission, board or authority that deals with issues of national security at the direction of the Prime Minister; be responsible for gathering and collating information and intelligence on national security matters; collaborate with local, regional and international agencies involved in intelligence gathering and analysis; represent the Government on the direction of the Prime Minister at national, regional and international meetings where the subject matter engages upon the security interest of St. Kitts and Nevis and be responsible for gathering and presenting operational information and advising the National Defence Council on the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in countering threats to national security and on their implementation of the National Defence Council’s policies relating to national security.

As a military professional, Mr. Saunders achieved his highest rank, Major General, and retired as Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force in October 2010. He was appointed Senior Consultant/Advisor in National Security matters in 2012 and later, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security.

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