Animal World

Board of Directors

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Meet the
Board of Directors

The PAC Board of Directors was appointed in August 2022 by Cabinet. The Board comprises of; Mr. Robert M. Persaud, Chairman, Mr. Roger Yearwood, Vice Chairman, Mr. Brian James, Mr. John Carpenter, Mr. Ronald Harsawack, Ms. Pradeepa Bholanath, Ms. Omodelle George and ex-officio members – Mr. Damian Fernandes (Advisor to the Board and PAC) Mr. Kemraj Parsram (Executive Director, EPA), Mr. Joslyn Mckenzie (Permanent Secretary MNR) and Mr. Ryan Toolsiram (Permanent Secretary MOAA) and PAC Commissioner. 

The functions of the Board are to;

  • oversee the operations of the Commission. 
  • approve the budget, work plan, programmes, annual report and accounts of the Commission; 
  • approve the system plan 
  • approve applications from the Commission to the Board of Trustees for funding; 
  • review and approve the management plans 
  • develop a monitoring and evaluation scheme to ensure that the strategic objectives of the national protected areas system are being achieved.
Robert Persaud
Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chairman, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Robert M. Persaud was appointed as Foreign Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in August 2020 where he serves as advisor to the Minister on issues of Foreign Trade and Diaspora Engagement.

From 2016 until his recent appointment, Mr. Persaud worked extensively in the area of international business and investment. He also previously held the position of Senior Cabinet Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Senior Cabinet Minister of Agriculture, ICT4D Strategy Coordinator within the Office of the President, and a Presidential Advisor.

Mr. Persaud recently obtained a certificate in the fundamentals of petroleum from the University of Texas and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of West Indies. He also has an undergraduate degree from the University of Guyana.

Roger Yearwood
Attorney-at-Law Vice Chairman, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

D.R. Yearwood is an attorney-at-law admitted to practice law in Guyana for in excess of twenty years. He is a Founding Partner of Innovative Legal and Business Solutions Inc., a legal firm that seeks to combine sound legal advice with practical and pragmatic solutions to issues that impact lives, relationships and commerce.

Mr. Yearwood’s sojourn into entrepreneurship, especially in the area of mining, has given him a greater appreciation of the need to balance robust socio-economic development with eco-friendly practices.

Brian James
Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Born on the 5th of May, 1944 in Georgetown, Guyana, Mr. Brian James was educated at Queens College, Guyana, the University of London and the University of Toronto.

Mr. James previously served on the Boards of Guyana National Bureau of Standards, Guyana National Printers, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association.

Mr. James has also served in the past as Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Guyana Tourism Authority, Guyana Securities Council and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority. He was also the past Honorary Consul Representative of the Republic of Korea.

John Carpenter
Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

John Carpenter holds a BSc. in Food Science from Cornell University, as well as an Associate of Arts in Food Science. He has decades of experience in management and directorship of several businesses, and extensive experience in the local and regional commercial industry. His focus is on sustainable business development in Guyana.

Mr. Carpenter serves as the Chairman of Hand-in-Hand Fire and Life Insurance Group of Companies, and he is also the Director of Republic Bank (Surname), N.V., Wieting and Richter Limited, Industrial Safety Supplies Inc, and Cellsmart Inc. In 2018 Mr. Carpenter was the recipient of the Golden Arrow of Achievement for outstanding service in the field of business, especially in food manufacturing and processing.

Ronald Harsawack
Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Mr. Harsawack is an Administration Specialist who holds a Master Degree in Public Administration. He previously held positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a UNV and a Consultant and at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as the Assistant Representative (Administration). 

Mr. Harsawack served the Government of Guyana as Regional Executive Officer within the Local Government System on Guyana in Potaro Siparuni and Upper Takatu, Essequibo. He also served in various capacities at the Cabinet Secretariat as Special Assistant to the Head of the Presidential Secretariat.

Mr. Harsawack is currently the Chairman of the Guyana Prison Service Recruitment Board and a member of the Tender Board of the Ministry of Home Affairs. He also heads the ICT access and eServices for Hinterland Poor and Remote Communities Project at the Office of the Prime Minister. In August 2022, Mr. Harsawack was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Protected Areas Commission.

Pradeepa Bholanath
Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Pradeepa Bholanath is an Environmental Economist who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from the University of Guyana (2002), a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Economist from the University of York, UK (2004), and MBA from the Edinburgh Business School, UK (2008).

Ms. Bholanath has worked at the senior management level in the areas of sustainable development, trade and economic growth, community and social development, and climate policy and financing.

Pradeepa is part of the team leading efforts on Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

Omodelle George
Member. Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Ms. George is a tourism and hospitality entrepreneur, business mentor and community advocate with a BSc. in Economics. Omodelle George is deeply passionate about the enhancement of the tourism industry, the environment that guarantees its existence and the building of relationships and institutions in an effort to stimulate sustainable, self-sufficient communities through collaboration with their people.

Damian Fernandes
Senior Advisor of Communication & Fund-raising, Conservation International, Guyana Ex-Officio Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Damian Fernandes is a graduate of the University of Guyana and the former Commissioner of the Protected Areas Commission. For most of his career he has worked in the environment and natural resources sector, with a part focus on community-based conservation and integrated land-use planning. In 2019 Mr. Fernandes began working with Conservation International Guyana where he is currently the Senior Advisor on communications, fundraising and strategy.

In August 2022, Mr. Fernandes was appointed as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Protected Areas Commission. He will also serve in the capacity of Special Advisor to the Board and to the PAC.

Kemraj Parsram
Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency Ex-Officio Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Mr. Kemraj Parsram is eminently qualified and experienced in the field of environmental and natural resources management, law, policy, and governance in the wider Caribbean. Mr. Parsram joined the Agency in 2013 as the Director of the Compliance and Enforcement Department, later serving as Executive Director (ag.) during the period December 2016 to October 2018. He returned to the EPA on June 30, 2021, to officially serve as its Executive Director.

Joslyn McKenzie
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources Ex-Officio Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Joslyn McKenzie has served as the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, currently the Ministry of Natural Resources, since 2011.

In August 2022, Mr. McKenzie was appointed as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Protected Areas Commission, in his capacity as Permanent Secretary and as a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Ryan Toolsiram
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Amerindian Affairs Ex-Officio Member, Board of Directors Protected Areas Commission

Mr. Ryan Toolsiram was born on May 28, 1983. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern Caribbean and a Bachelors Degree in Public Management from the University of Guyana. Mr. Toolsiram possesses over a decade of experience encompassing social, economic and technical development at a local and international level.

Mr. Toolsiram serves as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, providing guidance in social and economic policies with a focus on the enhancement of the well-being of Guyana’s Indigenous Peoples through collaborations, sustainable development, appropriate legislation, and ensuring the preservation of Indigenous culture and traditional knowledge. Mr. Toolsiram is ardent about sustainable development initiatives such as the LCDS 2030, which seeks to value ecosystem services, invest in clean energy, and stimulate low carbon growth, among other environmentally conscious objectives.

In August 2022, Mr. Toolsiram was appointed as an ex-officio member to the Board of Directors of the Protected Areas Commission in his current capacity as Permanent Secretary and as a representative of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.