The Cabinet Secretary is the most senior policy adviser in the civil service. He is secretary to the cabinet, responsible to all ministers for the running of Cabinet and is also the head of the civil service.
As Secretary to the Cabinet he provides support and advice to the government and oversees the provision of policy and secretariat support to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees. He organises the minutes of the Cabinet and conveys decisions of the Cabinet.
As Head of the Public Service, he is responsible for developing a highly professional public service able to effectively execute government business.
As Head of the Permanent Secretaries Board, he is responsible for guiding the execution of Ministry plans that align with government’s priorities.
Ambassador Douglas Saunders became Cabinet secretary in 2008.
Ambassador Saunders graduated Jamaica College in 1967. He graduated the University of the West Indies in 1972 holding a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management Studies. He is also the holder of certification in diplomacy from Oxford University and is a Pope Paul VI Scholar of St. John’s University in New York where he earned a Masters Degree in Government and Politics, majoring in International Relations in 1981.
He begun public service career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade and served in different capacities over thirty years;
- Counsellor (Economic Affairs) at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York;
- Deputy Director of Foreign Trade; Deputy High Commissioner in London to Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Portugal; Director of European Affairs;
- Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cuba, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of France, Ireland as well as High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa.
In 2002, he was appointed Permanent Secretary.