UWI Sociologist Dr. Leith Dunn named to Commonwealth Observer Group for Malawi Elections
Posted: May 14, 2014
UWI Sociologist and Gender Specialist, Dr Leith Dunn, has been named as a member of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections in the Republic of Malawi, to be held on May 20, 2014.
This is the fourth occasion on which Dr Dunn is being asked to serve as a Commonwealth Election Observer for polls in Africa. She first served in March 2002 as Observer for the Zimbabwe elections and has also served on Commonwealth Observer Missions for elections in Zambia in 2006 and in Rwanda in 2010.
Dr Dunn leaves the island this week to be part of an eleven-member delegation named by Commonwealth Secretary General, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma. The election observers for Malawi are drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. They will observe the circumstances of the poll and report on whether the elections reflected the will of the people.
Dr Dunn's latest assignment comes against the background of an active career in academia, and international development policy. She is currently Head of the Mona Campus Unit of the UWI's Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) and is a leading researcher on social, economic, political and environmental development issues. She previously served as Assistant Representative of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean. She was also the Caribbean Director of the Canadian development agency, CUSO and has held senior positions with the British aid agency Christian Aid in London and the Caribbean Conference of Churches.
Dr Dunn recently edited two published Working Papers on 'Gender Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS' and the other on 'Gender, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management'. Among her other publications are co-authored books on 'Gender and Governance', 'People and Tourism', and 'Non-Governmental Organisations: Guidelines for Good Policy and Practice published by the Commonwealth Foundation which has been translated into over 10 languages.
Dr. Dunn is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and of the London School of Economics, where she was awarded her doctoral degree in 1994. She is married to UWI academic, Professor Hopeton Dunn, with whom she has also co-authored several academic works.