Thu | Sep 21, 2017

'Superman' Stanberry powers on

Published:Wednesday | April 13, 2016 | 4:00 AMChristopher Serju
2016: Minister of Industry, Commerce and Fisheries, Karl Samuda (right), exchanges greetings with Stanberry during the opening ceremony for the annual St Mary Agri-Expo.
2014: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Roger Clarke (right) speaks with Stanberry during a press conference.
2010: Donovan Stanberry (left), permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, shows support to his minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, as Tufton received a Gleaner Honour Award for his contribution to public service.
2016: Stanberry (left) looks on as Lennoy Prendergast (centre), works engineer with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, points to a section of a contract to Agriculture Minister Derrick Kellier.
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Joining the civil service in 1996, Donovan Stanberry, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Agriculture, has the distinction of having straddled four political administrations in that capacity over the past 10 years.

He retained the position when the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) took office in 2007 and remained in the position after the People's National Party (PNP) was returned to office in 2012. Now with the return to power of the JLP, the hard-working senior civil servant continues to serve as permanent secretary.

And now that the ministries of industry and commerce have been merged with agriculture

to form a superministry, 'Superman' Stanberry is still the top civil servant.

Vivian Brown, former permanent secretary for industry and commerce, now joins Don McGlashan as director general in the superministry.

However, McGlashan will continue to focus on agriculture and fisheries from the Hope Gardens head office of the former agriculture ministry.

Brown remains stationed at the New Kingston offices of the former industry and commerce ministry.

For his part, the permanent secretary now moves between his Hope Gardens and New Kingston offices, as needs dictate.

"I have an office in both locations because it is not physically possible to have everybody in one location, so I operate from both," Stanberry told The Gleaner.

"So each day is a separate set-up in terms of how the meetings are lined up. It depends on how the meetings are lined up," he added, while paying tribute to the technocrats in the superministry.

"We have a good cadre of technical people, so it makes it much, much easier," the permanent secretary acknowledged.

He went on to point out that it was commonplace for the post of director general to be created whenever ministries are merged.

Stanberry was appointed to his current post last month, having previously served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Land and Environment, chief technical director in the Ministry of Water and Housing, senior director in the Ministry of Public Utilities and Transport, lecturer at the University of Technology, and as senior economist at the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

A past student of the Garvey Maceo High School in May Pen, Clarendon, Stanberry is a deacon of the Seventh-day Church of God.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com