Dr. Len Monica Ishmael
Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassies of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
to the European Union
Len Ishmael is a St. Lucian development planner and geographer and former Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (2003 - 2013).
Early life and education
She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and geography from the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, and a master’s degree in urban planning. In 1988, Dr. Ishmael finished her Ph.D. in development economics and urban planning from the University of Philadelphia.
In 2003, Len Ishmael assumed leadership of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States secretariat as its first female director general. From 1997-2003, Dr. Ishmael was the director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) Regional Headquarters for the Caribbean.
Prior to her work at ECLAC, Dr. Ishmael worked for Lead International, a non-profit focused on leadership and sustainable development established by the Rockefeller Foundation in New York in 1991. Her prior experience also includes positions as an Associate Professor at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados and running her own consultancy firm.
At the end of 2013, Dr. Ishmael demitted office after 10 years as Director General. She took up a new position as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassies of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to the European Union in January 2015. She ended her term as Amabassador on 31 January 2017.
Honours and awards
On 7 September 2012, Dr. Ishmael was conferred the Order of Merit of Spain in recognition of her outstanding commitment towards the promotion of effective bilateralism between Spain and the OPECS, and for her intense contribution toward the fostering of a cooperative and strategic partnership with Spain anchored in trust and a sense of mutual benefit.