Danielle Coleman appointed new HMCI Director
The Ministry of Home Affairs announced on Wednesday the appointment of Danielle Coleman as the Director for Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI).
Coleman was the former Deputy Director of Preparedness and Planning for HMCI, and has served as Acting Director on a rotational basis for the last 6 months.
A qualified attorney with master’s degrees in both law and human rights, the young Caymanian has been working in the humanitarian field for more than ten years in a professional and volunteer capacity.
Despite her legal background, Coleman has always been passionate about hazard management. Over the years she has acquired extensive experience in the field of disaster preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery on local, regional and international levels
“I am honoured and deeply grateful to have been selected as the Director of this critical department,” Coleman said.
“I look forward to working with our team at HMCI to continue to serve and help protect residents and visitors, while enhancing multi-disciplinary collaboration to ensure thorough and comprehensive hazard management, “ she added.
Coleman worked for Cayman Islands Red Cross for five years as the Disaster Manager. During her time there, she liaised closely with colleagues in other British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean through the Disaster Risk Reduction Collaboration Programme led by the British Red Cross.
She has also undergone significant training in Mass Casualty, logistics, shelter and security management. Ms. Coleman retains close connections with the International Red Cross, and continues to assist with disaster management related training at the local branch.
On the international stage Ms. Coleman undertook recovery work in Thailand for six months following the Indian Ocean tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. She has also served as a Learning and Development Coordinator for the British Red Cross in London.
Shortly after joining HMCI last year, she was seconded to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to assist as a disaster manager for the BVI Red Cross and the BVI Department of Disaster Management in response to the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Coleman helped coordinate efforts with other response agencies and the BVI Disaster Management Office.
The new HMCI Director initially joined the civil service in 2007, as a Human Rights Analyst/Operations Manager for the Ministry of Education’s Human Rights Committee. She has also held positions in the private sector including Director of Operations and Development for Cayman HospiceCare.
“Ms. Coleman’s experience in disaster management is invaluable to the Cayman Islands,” Chief Officer for Home Affairs, Dr. Dax Basdeo said.
“Furthermore given her former role at HMCI, she already understands the workings of the department and what needs to be done to ensure it continues to deliver on its mandate, which is to protect the people of this country, and maintain a culture of preparedness and resiliency to disasters. Coleman is uniquely qualified for this critical role and she will have the full support of my Ministry’s team as she undertakes the leadership of this key agency, “ he added.
Coleman is currently working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Governor’s Office to draft a policy paper on developing rapid deployment teams in the Overseas Territories.
She is also assisting with the ongoing development of a National Emergency Notification System, particularly for sudden onset hazards.