Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Former FTC head dies in the US

Published:Sunday | April 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Former executive director of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), Geraldine Foster, is dead.

Foster died last Thursday in Crawfordville, Georgia, in the United States, after a brief illness.

Having practised as an attorney in competition law for a number of years in the United States, Foster returned to Jamaica and joined the Fair Trading Commission as senior legal counsel in 1993. She was elevated to the top position as executive director in 1995.

Renowned as the courageous champion of the Fair Competition Act, first introduced in 1990s Jamaica to ensure a level playing field in the marketplace, Foster, despite resistance at the time, carried out her duties without fear or favour.

During her tenure, she always made herself accessible to the media and readily accepted public platforms, which went a far way in educating Jamaicans about the relevance and substantive issues of the Fair Competition Act and its importance in moving the nation and its economy towards the 21st century.

In 2011, Foster accepted an offer from the United Nations Development Programme and returned to the world stage to set up a number of competition agencies on the African continent, including in South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania.

She was educated at Wolmer's High School for Girls, and after successfully completing the Advanced Level exams, emigrated to the United States to join her family. She earned a BA with a major in French at the Loma Linda University in California and a Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California.

Despite the many years overseas, Foster considered herself a Jamaican and said that she only felt a sense of belonging when she was home.