MRS. MARSHA HENRY-MARTIN
PERMANENT SECRETARY MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Mrs. Marsha Henry-Martin commenced her career as an Environmental Protection Officer in 1999 at the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). She served at the St Thomas Parish Council between 2000 and 2007 in the capacity of Director of Planning. She then assumed responsibilities as Director, Urban and Regional Planning in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development in 2007. In this capacity she was responsible to implement key reforms to strengthen the modernisation of the development applications review process and support local authorities in developing local sustainable development plans. During the period of 2007 to 2015 she also served in various capacities including Acting Senior Director, Infrastructure Planning and Implementation in the Office of the Prime Minister and Project Coordinator, National Spatial Plan in the Ministry of Land, Environment, Water and Climate Change.
She was also named as the ministry’s representative to the National Land Advisory Board, the Forward Planning Committee and Technical Review Committee of the Town and Country Planning Authority and represented the country at several international conferences and workshops related to her areas of responsibility including the Caribbean Urban Forum.
During this period of assignment, Mrs Henry-Martin also coordinated the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative for the preparation of a Development Plan for the City of Montego Bay which was funded by the Inter – American Development Bank (IDB).
Mrs Henry-Martin’s service in local government saw her being promoted to Senior Director, Hazard Mitigation and Risk Management in October 2015 and was responsible for leading the risk reduction and emergency management responsibilities of the ministry and promoting the development of a risk reduction management centre in the parish of St Catherine. She also served on the board of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and was later named as Jamaica’s focal point to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. In 2018, Mrs Henry-Martin was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development now Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Mrs. Henry-Martin is the accounting officer of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and presently leads the implementation of local governance reform initiatives within the context of rural development and is committed to building a culture of excellence in local government. She has oversight in respect of fourteen (14) local authorities and the island’s infirmaries (including two golden aged homes) and five (5) agencies:
- Jamaica Fire Brigade
- Social Development Commission
- National Solid Waste Management Authority
- Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
- Rural Water Supply Limited
She also serves as the country’s representative to the Management Committee of the Council of Ministers, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, member of the Board, Island Traffic Authority and National Focal Point, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Mrs Henry-Martin was granted the Golden Jubilee Scholarship to attend the University of the West Indies in 2002, where she was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Natural Resource Management (Urban and Regional Environment Management) with Distinction. She was previously awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Planning & Environmental Resource Development with First Class Honours and a Diploma in Physical Planning with Honours from the University of Technology, Jamaica.
Her academic excellence attracted many awards including the Student of the Year Award for the University of Technology, the Urban Development Corporation Award for Outstanding Performance and the Town and Country Planning Awards for Excellence.
Mrs. Henry Martin is married with three children and is an ordained Deaconess.