The daughter of a former Guyana government minister and clergyman is Jamaica’s high commissioner-designate to Canada.
Janice Miller, a career diplomat with nearly two decades experience in the Jamaican Foreign Service, succeeds Sheila Sealy Monteith, who returned home earlier this month to take up a senior position in the ministry.
Miller is the sibling of Reverend Dr. Dale Bisnauth, who passed away in April 2013. The ex-Minister of Education, Labour, Human Services & Social Security secured his PhD from the University of the West Indies Mona campus and attended Unity Theological College of the West Indies in Jamaica, where he later became dean of studies and vice president.
A graduate of Guyana’s Bishops’ High School and the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Arts first-class honours and a Master’s of Philosophy degree in international relations, Miller is the under-secretary for multilateral affairs in Jamaica’s foreign ministry and one of the deputy permanent representatives for the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the International Seabed Authority.
She also serves on the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and the Jamaica National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization board of directors.
Prior to assuming responsibilities as under-secretary for multilateral affairs, Miller was the ministry’s economic affairs department director, counsellor with responsibility for political affairs at the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations in New York and a project officer for two years with the CARICOM secretariat in Guyana.
The recipient of a Chevening scholarship that enabled her to pursue Oxford University’s Foreign Service program, Miller has also received public administration, policy analysis and strategic planning training through the University of Peking in Beijing and Ottawa’s Carleton University.
Former consul general Stewart Stephenson and Miller’s spouse – Donald, who is a research officer with the National Commission on Science & Technology – are cousins.
“I have watched her meteoric rise from a desk officer to her current position and I have been very impressed,” said Stephenson. “She’s soft-spoken and very approachable.”
The diplomat and her husband have two daughters – Rianna and Rachel, who is an avid chess player. She was a member of the Jamaican team that created history earlier this year by becoming the first team from an English-speaking country to finish first in its debut at the eighth Pan American Scholastic Chess Championship in El Salvador.
The high commissioner-designate will assume her new duties in Ottawa in the next three weeks.
Miller follows Sealy Monteith and Evadne Coye as Jamaica’s third consecutive female top diplomat in Canada since Carl Marshall demitted office in 2006.