Quarantine boss to be new London rep

| 09/03/2021 | 61 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia

(CNS): Senior civil servant Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia, the current head of Travel Cayman, will be heading to London shortly to take up a new job as the Cayman Islands representative in the UK. Ebanks-Garcia, who has a doctorate in psychology and has been in public service for eight years, was appointed following a recent recruitment process. The job became vacant earlier this year when André Ebanks resigned in order to run for office in the forthcoming election.

The office was established to advance the interests of the government and the Caymanian public. The role of the representative is to oversee the team and to lead the interactions with elected leaders in Britain through Cayman’s All Party Parliamentary Group and to promote the Cayman Islands to investors. The job also involves fostering an understanding of Cayman’s unique economy, heritage and culture as well as supporting the ministries with external affairs in the UK and providing services to Caymanians overseas, primarily students. 

The office falls under the premier’s ministry of trade, which is headed up by Chief Officer Eric Bush, who has held the post before Ebanks.

“The United Kingdom continues to navigate through the turbulent waters of Brexit and rejuvenate ‘Global Britain’,” he said. “As a result, there are many opportunities for all British Overseas Territories. The Cayman Islands Representative and the Government Office in London will continue to be of utmost strategic importance to continue developing alliances and relationships in the UK as well as with the 54 nations of the Commonwealth – activities that create unique opportunities for Cayman’s people and businesses.”

Bush added that he had every confidence in Ebanks-Garcia, saying she is a highly qualified, experienced and capable Caymanian. “She will be a fantastic Representative for Cayman.”     

Dr Ebanks-Garcia said she looked forward to representing the Cayman Islands overseas, not just as a civil servant, but as a member of our community.

“Undoubtedly Cayman faces numerous challenges, but also has a myriad of possibilities through developing through closer ties with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” she said. “In that context, I truly am honored to represent my country and my Government.”   

The current government also is still pursuing a policy of opening offices in North America, Europe and Hong Kong this year. Officials said that announcements of the appointments for representatives and their deputies and progress on the opening of these offices would be made in due course.

See Tasha Ebanks Garcia’s biography here.


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Category: Jobs, Local News, Politics

Comments (61)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So sad how the Cayman Islands has evolved into such a negative, downtrodden society. If it wasn’t a Caymanian that got the post the comments would be about attacking expatriates ! Is anybody safe in these islands ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    No disrespect to the successful ‘candidate’ as I am sure she is very capable in her field of qualifications and expertise. However, what is the job description for this role given Cayman’s requirements in the UK and how does a doctor of psychology fit this profile.

    Please will someone enlighten me.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a non job and has been since Jennifer Dilbert day. Cocktail parties, pseudo efforts to “represent” Cayman, no one in the UK gives a toss about the London Office. The view of Cayman is money laundering tax dodging and the London Office cannot do anything about that. It was created to provide a job for Tom Russell who at the time was considered a wonderful governor/ex governor. He served there in massively expensive London real estate with his former English assistant for years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Truth!

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe so, but other territories had offices in London when we opened ours, and others have followed suit since we opened ours. Gibraltar House is prominently located on the Strand at the bottom of Aldwych. BVI House cost several million. Bermuda took a while to open an office but they eventually did, one floor below us at our former building on Arlington Street next to the Ritz. Our office has moved since just over Piccadilly to Dover Street. If it does nothing else, the office hosts an event for students every year and looks after the hundreds of Caymanians in the UK at any one time. I don’t think it costs very much. I am not sure that your portrayal is fair based on Tom Russell days.

        Source: studied in London.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am sure that she will be very helpful in keeping us off the blacklist.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This announcement is about three weeks early is it not?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats on getting the job.
    One thing, which is a very small matter but for the last 4/5yrs if not longer that the CI UK office keep sayk they have been working on but really haven’t done anything about it is

    Transfer of the CI drivers licence to UK. The law has been approved and all that needs to be done is get the rubber stamp. I have has a son in University and other freidns kids there who have had to take their drivers test, which honestly isn’t a bad thing, however if the BVI and other dependent Islands can do it, why doesn’t Cayman have the same right.

    For those that will be critical of this, my son can rent a car using his CI and international license so why not allow the have UK one.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see any benefit to letting our kids drive in the UK without taking a UK test. A CI license is completely meaningless in the context of driving with the speed, traffic density and weather in the UK. Wouldn’t let my kids drive there without taking a UK test even if it were allowed. Absolute disaster waiting to happen! They wouldn’t make it round the first 50mph roundabout. Are you crazy?

      • anon says:

        Driving in Cayman is hardly a qualification for driving abroad unless you are moving to Africa.

        • Anonymous says:

          Being a British person is hardly a qualification for driving outside the UK. As I told myself when I drove in South Florida for the first time, if the dumbest chav family on holiday can figure it out, I can surely do it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Including the South right ?

      • Anonymous says:

        BVI licenses can be exchanged. So why not Cayman?

        • Anonymous says:

          BVI licenses shouldn’t be accepted either.

        • SSM345 says:

          Have you driven in Cayman in the last decade and witnessed the driving standards nose-dive completely?

          How would it be even remotely plausible to allow these very same drivers who cannot manage 25mph let alone 50-70mph, using their indicators or roudabouts onto UK roads?

          Mental lentil chicken-oriental.

    • Anonymous says:

      A CI licence might mean he can legally rent a car in the UK but it doesn’t mean it’s safe to; 90 seconds outside Heathrow he’ll be on an unfamiliar road, in an unfamiliar car trying to join a road where everyone else is doing 80mph. A little extra training and taking a test never hurt anyone. As a parent I’d be glad it wasn’t so easy!

    • Anonymous says:

      Abide by the rules and laws when in a nation other than your own. Its very hypocritical to hear Caymanians demand foreigners accept local laws then go overseas especially to the UK seeking special treatment. Driving in the United Kingdom presents challenges that driving in the Cayman Islands cannot prepare you for. Foreigners have to sit our CI driver licensing test when they come here no matter how long they’ve held a license in their country of origin. If spending more than 6 months in a country the general rule of thumb is you need to go thru their road test and licensing procedures. BVI or any other BOTC for that matter, have not transferred local driver licensing responsibilities to the United Kingdom and all testing and issuance for vehicle and driver licensing is still done locally.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should they.
      I had to sit a local test when I got here. I have driven in London for 20 years.
      The tester said I had to stop at the roundabout.
      Complete joke.
      Stop at a roundabout when no-one is coming and you will be rear ended.

    • Anonymous says:

      If he can drive safely then taking the UK test should be quick and easy. If it’s not easy then he shouldn’t be on the road. Pretty simple. Why should the UK recognise the CI license as equivalent? For a start, it’s not and laughably, we don’t recognise theirs.

    • Hancock says:

      May I suggest if using a manual gear shift that one practices a few hill starts on the dump before embarking to sunny England.

    • Anonymous says:

      Today’s International Driving Permit (IDP) system is governed by the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic – which DVDL should note, replaced the previous 1949 Geneva Convention some 53 years ago. Someone’s opinion on whether the International Driving Conventions were a good idea, be it at the dawn of the horseless carriage, or now, thankfully doesn’t really matter – they still apply. Cayman is just 404 on such things.

      http://www.dvdl.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/vlthome/drivers/foreigndrivers/geneva

      • Anonymous says:

        So what? Simple fact is a Caymanian license does not mean you are safe to drive in the UK. Not even close. Even if our kids were to be allowed to legally get a UK license we should insist they take a UK test for their safety; better yet an advanced test. Trying to shortcut it is unbelievably foolish.

  6. anonymous says:

    It would really be interesting to see how closely her experience and qualifications actually match the JD. Just like Eric who was never qualified for any of the jobs he hold. Someone should FOI the recruitment process. It was advertised that financial experience – private sector, business development and relationships management with key Cayman market stakeholders were key requirements.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Where was the ad for the job…CI Gov practice what you preach!

    • Anon says:

      Eric shared a link to the two roles on LinkedIn about 2 days before they were due. Classically the links didn’t work but it at least brought enough attention to them that I searched the Gov recruitment website directly and found them. As other posters have mentioned there was a laundry list of requirements that don’t seem to have been met in this case, and in any event it does seem the entire process was rushed (hushed?) given what seems to have been short notice (at least publicly) on Andre’s part. Between the (apparently) arbitrary requirements and hushed recruitment process it certainly does seem the pre-determined candidate got the role.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wait till you see who the others are….

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh do tell!

          • Anonymous says:

            Al Fa’Amoe to Dubai.

            Remember the gentleman who was at OfReg?

            • Anonymous says:

              You mean Alee Fa’amoe who left Of Reg last year and now works in this same Ministry (Ministry of Intl trade)..funny that his wife is the Deputy Chief in the same Ministry! Franz (Franz.manderson@gov.ky), how can you allow this? Dr. Tasha also works under Eric.. CIG.. release the name of everyone and how they qualified! Did they just show up to the interview… was there presentations and scenarios? How did you all go from a former lawyer and policy adviser in Financial Services to current appointee? Dr. Tasha, what are your views on Brexit? How will you defend us from current Blacklists? What are your views on the EU? The world thinks we hide millions here, how will you change that?

      • Anonymous says:

        This is normal in the Civil Service.

        Implement rules and try to apply them to others and ignore them for itself.

  8. Cinfi Ro9 says:

    Congratulations Tasha. No doubts whatsoever, you will mKe an impact! A fierce, har working woman…

  9. Riley Bush says:

    Amazing Job Dr. Ebanks Garcia.

  10. Anonymous says:

    She won’t last 15 months

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is so amazing and inspirational.

    I see so many capable Caymanians being promoted in our world class civil service.

    Dr Garcia will make us proud.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness. Still, that job is a non job, albeit massively over-remunerated. A good place to put civil servants who don’t seem to have actual real “affect the public” duties here in Cayman. You know, the ones working on “strategic” this and “strategic” that and focus groups and consultants’ reports.

    • Anonymous says:

      This was a non-job when Air Miles Eric and Andre The Posturer had it.

      Now a woman and bingo, it is a non-job.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s actually not massively over-remunerated at all. It’s a pretty poor-paying job for what it is. That’s why Eric Bush had himself seconded from his chief officer position, because a chief officer earns more than the London representative does. It also does not come with allowances to offset the cost of living in the UK, or accommodation, or a lot of the other things one would think.

      • Anonymous says:

        I believe chief officers and the London Representative are on the same remuneration grade, namely C in the civil service pay scale, 4:05.

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s news to me. Perhaps what Eric wanted to keep was his place along Grade C, then?

  13. Dottie Parker says:

    Can’t wait to see how she messes up this role too! What a legacy of incompetence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dottie my dear you are walking around without a mask because of Dr Tasha high degree of competence. How ungrateful.

      • Anonymous says:

        How did she prevent Covid here? Pray tell.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:30am, you do realize she’s not an actual doctor, right? She has a PhD (in psychology no less) and thus is referred to as “Dr”. Normally, “Dr” is used by PhD holders only in academic settings.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great job! Congratulations!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tasha go show Air Miles Eric what is really involved in doing this job properly.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Certainly a major step up from the prior 2 reps.

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