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Packwood to be named new boss of Govt’s Washington office

Government's Washington office is to get a new chief in an effort to make the facility more productive.

The Royal Gazette understands that former Business Bermuda CEO Cheryl Packwood has been appointed to run the “semi-consular” bureau, replacing Department of Communications and Information director Beverle Lottimore. It is not known when the new appointment will take effect.

When the office first opened on 7th Street in the US capital in September 2009, the former Progressive Labour Party administration said that its core functions were “to maintain open channels of communication with US policymakers and their advisers while also facilitating business development opportunities for Bermuda”.

Ms Lottimore, 62, who was also press secretary for former Premiers Alex Scott and Paula Cox, was appointed head two years later and last year revealed that the office had become a resource centre for Bermudian students in the DC and surrounding areas.

She said the office would promote opportunities for local students in US schools, promote internships and summer jobs, set up “a public and private sector mentoring programme”, and a tutorial programme.

Workshops, an annual conference for students in the US, and a “student send-off” in Bermuda for those studying abroad were also to be offered.

But Oppositon MPs branded the initiative extravagant — it is understood that the former Government signed a ten-year lease on the office, paying $180,000-a-year to rent the space.

And in February, Premier Craig Cannonier confirmed that the new Government was reviewing the office's roles and responsibilities.

“We're in discussions right now as we speak in understanding the role of Washington DC and what it is that they actually do, so that is unfolding,” he said.

Ms Packwood stood down as head of Business Bermuda — formerly the Bermuda International Business Association — in April after six years with the organisation. During that time she built up an impressive list of international business contacts and was described as “the Island's spokesperson and ambassador for business”.

She served as general manager at AT&T and Cingular Wireless and was also a director of Legal Services, Enforcement and International Affairs at the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

She also worked in Cote d'Ivoire as the managing director of Western Wireless International Corporation preceded by a career in law with N'Goam, Asman & Associates in Cote d'Ivoire and Shearman & Sterling in New York City.

In April 2012, Ms Packwood was named as an Industry Leader in MENA FM's Service Provider Power 50 for her work promoting Bermuda internationally.

Cheryl Packwood: In line to head Government's Washington office

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Published October 07, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 07, 2013 at 1:02 am)

Packwood to be named new boss of Govt’s Washington office

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