Ambassador the Honourable Dr. Richard L. Bernal, OJ








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Counselor for Jamaica, Inter-American Development Bank


Counselor for Jamaica, Ambassador Richard L. Bernal

Office 202-623-1159 || Mobile 202-413-5232  || Email  || Website

Counselor for Jamaica in the Inter-American Development Bank. He was the Executive Director (2010-2012) and Alternate Executive Director (2008-2010).

Ambassador Dr. Bernal, a professional economist with over 35 years of experience 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).

 Previous to the IADB he was the Director-General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) for 8 years with responsibility for trade negotiations for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Cuba and the Dominican Republic. He was Principal Negotiator for Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) in the negotiation of the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement and CARICOM’s lead negotiator in the World Trade Organization and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations. Ambassador Bernal has been lead negotiator in numerous negotiations on behalf of Jamaica and CARICOM, including agreements on investment, intellectual property rights, textiles and apparel, trade, debt, and loans from multilateral financial institutions (IMF, World Bank, and IADB).

Dr. Bernal was Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS) for the period May 6, 1991 to August 31, 2001. When he demitted office after 10 ˝ years, he was the 4th most senior Ambassador in Washington D.C. and Dean of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corps. The wide-ranging duties included lobbying the US Congress on trade legislation, the US-EU banana dispute and foreign aid for the Caribbean. Ambassador Bernal has given testimonies to several Committees of Congress (House and Senate) and the US International Trade Commission on issues of concern to the Caribbean such as aid, NAFTA and the Caribbean Basin Initiative. At the OAS, he chaired its highest body, the Permanent Council and committees on hemispheric trade, the Summit of the Americas and the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, culminating as the most senior Ambassador.

Previous to his diplomatic posting, he was Chief Executive Officer of a commercial bank with merchant bank and trust company subsidiaries. He worked in the Bank of Jamaica (central bank) and the Planning Institute/Agency of Jamaica and as Advisor to the Minister of Finance on external debt management and stabilization and adjustment policy. Dr. Bernal has deputised for the Minister of Finance of Jamaica at the IMF, IADB and World Bank including meetings of the Finance Ministers of the Western Hemisphere.

For 7 years he taught international economics and development economics at the University of the West Indies. He is Honorary Professor at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies of the University of the West Indies. Dr. Bernal has published over 100 articles in scholarly journals, books, and monographs (some available at as well as opinion editorials in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. He has appeared on CNN, PBS and BBC radio.

Books: Globalization, Trade and Economic Development. A Study of the CARIFORM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)  

Dragon in the Caribbean. China’s Global Re-Positioning. Challenges and Opportunities for the Caribbean (Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2014).

He is one of the 50 Distinguished Graduates of the University of the West Indies and the Order of Jamaica takes pride of place among several honours he has received.


Curriculum Vitae 

Biography in Spanish 


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