Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Tuesday, October 12, 2021 — The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus will confer an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) on Mr George Samuel Willie, CPA, CGMA, CGFM CGFM, International Auditor, Leader and Philanthropist at its Virtual Graduation Ceremony that takes place on Saturday, October 16 at 4:00 p.m. EC time on UWItv platforms.
Mr Willie is currently Managing Partner of Bert Smith and Company, one of the esteemed minority-owned firms in the Washington DC Metro area. He has worked for over 40 years in public accounting, specializing in consulting and programme management, financial and performance audits, financial reporting, and accounting services. Mr. Willie leads a formidable team that has over the years developed unmatched capabilities in serving both the public and private sectors.
For his sterling professional accomplishments, Mr Willie has received numerous accolades, including the recognition as one of the United States’ most influential practitioners by CPA Magazine and Accounting Today; the Distinguished Alumni Award in the field of Business and Community Service from Howard University; the Special Vision 21 award by the Howard University School of Business; the distinguished alumni award from the Kogod School of Business at the America University and several other awards that represent a mark of distinction for his invaluable contribution to the Accounting profession.
Mr Willie has also been honoured by the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) with the coveted Caribbean Luminary Award for his outstanding professional achievements and his exemplary charitable contributions to The UWI. He has made significant contributions to special projects and sponsors the tuition for several students each academic year who have financial challenges. He is currently an active member of the Executive Team of the Foundation in the capacity of Deputy Treasurer and Chair of the Fund-Raising Committee. His personal contributions to the AFUWI in the past four years have exceeded US$100K (J$15Million).
The UWI has been fortunate that George Willie aligns himself with the programmes at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) thereby providing access for students and faculty to cutting-edge practices and the up-to-the-minute industry trends.
His sponsorship of the annual MSBM Lecture series has seen outstanding practitioners coming to share their experiences with students, providing contacts within industry/academia to strengthen teaching, learning and research capacities. He was also instrumental in helping the MSBM to gain membership and accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, (AACSB).
His commitment to providing increased access to higher education for students who face financial challenges is evidenced by his longstanding role as a valued member of the Board of Trustees for Howard University, playing a significant role in providing financial aid for students from Jamaica and the USA. As a token of appreciation for his outstanding charitable contribution, Howard University has named its Accounting Career Awareness course in his honour – The George S. Willie ACAP Programme. Similarly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica named its Research Centre after him in recognition of his dedicated support to the profession in Jamaica.
His life story is replete with examples of activities designed to improve the lives of the undeserved in his native land Jamaica, as well as other minority populations in the USA. He is a highly sought-after individual who has served in a variety of capacities on several Boards. He currently serves as the Chairman of the US representative to the Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants; Member, Audit Committee of the American Institute for Research; Chair and a current member of the Montgomery County Employees Retirement System – Board of Trustees; Member, Board of Visitors of Howard University School of Business; Member, Dean’s Council of the Kogod School of Business – American University; and Chairman, Advisory Board for the Centre for Accounting Education – Howard University.
Mr Willie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude) in Accounting from Howard University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the American University.
Each year, The UWI recognizes selected individuals for their significant contributions to the region and the wider world in their respective fields of expertise.