Kingston, Jamaica: March 12, 2021: UN Women and The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus formally launched the “Alison Anderson McLean Internship” offering on-the-job training opportunities with UN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO) – Caribbean for students from the Department of Government in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The Internship commemorates the life and service of the former UN Women Representative, the late Alison Anderson McLean CD.
The internship was launched and announced during an International Relations Lecture in the Department of Government and as part of the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Sixtieth Anniversary celebrations. Anderson McLean lectured for nearly two decades at The UWI in the Department of Government as part of a career marked by national and international civil service and as a gender equality and children’s rights activist. The partnership was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two entities – by Ms. Tonni Brodber Representative, UN Women MCO – Caribbean, and Professor Dale Webber, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Mona Campus, The University of the West Indies (UWI).
The Alison Anderson McLean Internship will be awarded to students enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme; final academic year of their undergraduate degree or recent university graduate of the Department of Government or the wider Faculty of Social Sciences who demonstrate a keen interest in international civil service.
Speaking at the launch event, UN Women Representative Tonni Brodber outlined the driving force behind the Internship.
She said: “For this month, we focused on women in decision-making and the importance of leadership especially as it pertains to recovering from COVID-19. Alison demonstrated transformational leadership not only in academia, but also in her service to her country, region and the world.”
In delivering opening remarks, Dr Lisa Ann Vasciannie, Lecturer in the Department of Government and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Scienced at the University of the West Indies Mona (UWI), described the value of the Alison Anderson McLean Internship for tertiary students, as she reflected on Mrs Anderson McLean’s life as an academic and lecturer.
She said: “As one of many former students, I am proud to be a part of this launch and thank UN Women for the vision and generosity in funding these scholarships. This is what we want this internship to serve – we want candidates who have academic excellence, a yearning to serve and a passion for whatever area they are in.”
UN Resident Coordinator for Jamaica, Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos and Cayman Islands, Dr. Garry Conille described the legacy of the former UN Women Representative of empowering women and girls and protecting the most vulnerable citizens of society.
He stated: “Almost a year to the day, Alison was here with us launching the Spotlight Initiative in Jamaica. This, after her leadership helped to secure the near $20M USD needed to implement programmes, legislation and initiatives to help end the epidemic of family violence in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. The Spotlight Initiative will impact over 2 million beneficiaries over its 3-year life. This type of life-changing work is emblematic of the legacy that Alison left at the United Nation.”
Described as a fearless advocate for human rights, Tres Ann Kremer – Adviser and Head of Good Offices for Peace, The Commonwealth Secretariat and former student of Alison Anderson McLean, reminisced on personal memories and the impact the former representative had on her decision to pursue International Civil Service.
She said: “Many times when I’ve faced crisis situations at the Commonwealth in negotiations, I’ve often written to Alison and said you have no idea how some of the things we discussed (at UWI), I’m relying on them right now… Alison understood that International Relations was all about trust with whichever stakeholder you may be dealing with. Yet, she would also emphasize that International Relations was not confined to that space but instead was multidisciplinary.”
Prior to her appointment as Representative of UN Women MCO Caribbean, Alison McLean served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in Jamaica, and as the Chief Technical Director/Principal Director of the Office of the Prime Minister in Jamaica. She worked as a Special Advocate for Children in the USA and served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Child Development Agency in Jamaica. She lectured for nearly two (2) decades at the University of the West Indies on International Relations and Negotiations.