Sun | Mar 26, 2023

Ambassador Richard Bernal has died

Published:Wednesday | January 4, 2023 | 8:36 PM
Ambassador Richard Bernal - File photo

Jamaica's former ambassador to the United States, Richard Bernal, has died.

Bernal reportedly collapsed while walking in Norbrook, St Andrew, with his wife, Wednesday evening.

Ambassador Richard Bernal has had a varied professional life that included a 10-year stint as Jamaica's ambassador to the United States and as a Caribbean representative on the board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Prior to taking up his ambassadorial posting in May 1991, Bernal had done academic and technical work, taught economics at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, and advised the Government through assignments with the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Ministry of Finance.

Bernal, who served during the tenure of Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said his success there was, in no small measure, helped by the energy and integral involvement of his wife of 51 years, Margaret Reckord Bernal, in the social and cultural life of the Jamaican diaspora.

Ambassador Bernal, who also served The UWI for four years as pro-vice-chancellor for global affairs at the end of his IDB directorship in 2016, is son of Kathleen and Franklin Bernal. His mother worked in insurance, while his father was employed in the Jamaican civil service and was known for his research and paintings of birds of the Caribbean.

A Kingstonian and product of Jamaica College (JC), Bernal represented the school in cricket, football and tennis. 

Additional facts about Ambassador Bernal

* A professional economist with over 40 years of experience.

* He was educated at The University of the West Indies, University of Pennsylvania, New School for Social Research, and the School for Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University.

* He holds the degrees of B.Sc., MA, Ph.D. (Economics), and MIPP (International Public Policy).

* Bernal has published five books, over 100 articles in scholarly journals, books, and monographs (some available at as well as opinion editorials in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the Miami Herald.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at or