Sat | Dec 2, 2023


Professor Donald Harris tops awardees as Fraser-Pryce, Thompson Herah clinch CD

Published:Friday | August 6, 2021 | 12:13 AM
Professor Donald Harris
Elaine Thompson Herah
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Professor Donald Jasper Harris will be this year’s only inductee into the Order of Merit, Jamaica’s third-highest honour, for his outstanding contributions to national development.

He will be among 144 Jamaicans who will be given National Honours and Awards this year.

A professor emeritus at Stanford University, Harris has made significant contribution to the field of development economics. He is particularly well known for examining the challenges posed to developing countries like Jamaica.

Born in St Ann, Harris is also the father of the 49th and current vice-president of the United States, Kamala Harris, with whom he has had a strained relationship which has played out in public.

The honour of the Order of Merit is conferred upon persons who have achieved international distinction in science, the arts, literature, or any other endeavour. It is not conferred on more than two persons in any one year and can be held by no more than 15 living persons.

This year’s awards list features a range of successful Jamaicans who have provided distinguished service and leadership both nationally and internationally.

Four Jamaicans are to be inducted into the Order of Jamaica (OJ), the country’s fourth-highest honour. Both sides of the political divide are represented in the selection of Pearnel Charles Sr and Dr Peter Phillips for outstanding public service, while Dr Ian Levy has been honoured for his contribution to business and philanthropy. Guitarist Ernie Ranglin rounds out the OJ inductees for his contribution to the development of reggae.

Sprint queens Elaine Thompson Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce will be inducted into the Commander class of the Order of Distinction.

Thompson Herah this week became the first woman to win the sprint double in the 100m and 200m. She achieved both feats in national record times at the Tokyo Games to make her the fastest woman alive in both events.

Fraser-Pryce, the most decorated female athlete in the Olympic 100m, has received plaudits for returning from childbirth to find a second wind to her career.

She took silver behind Thompson Herah in Tokyo.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert; Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams; Transport Minister Robert Montague; Dr Wayne Henry, director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica; Justices Carol Edwards and Nicole Foster Pusey; the Rev Merrick ‘Al’ Miller; and Professor Anthony Harriott will also receive the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander.

The National Honours and Awards are presented annually on Heroes Day, which will be celebrated this year on October 18.

David Salmon