The Government & Public Policy Institute (GPPI) seeks to offer highly sought-after services in the research, design and implementation of public policy in The Bahamas and abroad.
The Government and Public Policy Institute (GPPI) is an institute of the University of The Bahamas with highly trained and motivated professionals pursuing public policy discourse, research and training that significantly impacts the good governance, prosperity and sustainable development of The Bahamas and the Caribbean.
- Critical thinking through curiosity and openness.
- Rigorous research — the only foundation upon which we can lay our propositions.
- Integrity — the thread that makes the fabric of our research strongest.
- Sound public policy for sustainable national development.
- Service to our people — our principal aim and objective.
- Ongoing training and development of our team — key to excellence in our work.
- Collaboration with all our partners — essential to fulfilling our mission on behalf of the University.
- On-demand Public Service training.
- “Meet the Policy Directors Lecture Series” featuring past and current government executives sharing perspectives on national policy and development in a neutral academic setting for the edification of the public and the advancement of democracy.
- “Distinguished Global Lecture Series” held quarterly, featuring national and international speakers on global issues with national and regional import.
- Public policy consultation.
- Ongoing research and academic analysis in the areas of governance, public policy creation and practice, development, decentralization and democratization.
- Critical inquiry, discourse and engagement around national development and public policy matters through publications, seminars, lectures, forums and other media.
- Monitoring the National Development Plan and providing feedback to policymakers on its implementation.
- Evidence-based advice on the implementation of the Bahamas Sustainable Development Goals.
- Collation and dissemination of Key National Economic Performance Indicators (KNEPI) and forecasts annually in collaboration with the Bahamas National Statistical Institute the Central Bank of The Bahamas.
ZHIVARGO SEAN LAING
Zhivargo Sean Laing is Executive Director and Senior Policy Fellow of the Government and Public Policy Institute at the University of the Bahamas. An economic consultant, former cabinet member, and former member of the Bahamas House of Assembly for the Marco City and Fort Charlotte Constituencies, Mr. Laing served as Minister of State in Youth, Sports and Culture, Minister of State in Education and Youth, Minister of Economic Development, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. Mr. Laing most recently served as the Chief Negotiator of the Bahamas Accession to the World Trade Organization for the Government of The Bahamas.
Mr. Laing holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and a Chartered Banker MBA from the University of Bangor, North Wales.
He is the author of several books: College, Career, and Money – A guide for teens and young adults (with Dave Burrows), A Trust Out of this World, and Who Moved My Conch – Understanding Free Trade Agreements. He is the host of Z Live: Off the Record with Zhivargo Laing, which airs daily from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Guardian Talk Radio 96.9. He can be reached at email@example.com
ALAINA FOULKES is a Policy Fellow in the Government and Public Policy Institute of the University of The Bahamas. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in International Relations from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania in 2019 and a Master of Science in Public Policy from Drexel University in 2021. Ms. Foulkes’s graduate thesis sheds light into the longevity factors and material benefits of Upward Program, a US federal program that supports high school students from low-income backgrounds and/or families in which neither parent holds a college degree through high school and seeks to increase the rate at which these students graduate from high school and college.
Her research interests include government accountability, education policy and social exclusion/challenges of vulnerable populations. Ms. Foulkes specialises in policy analysis, policy brief writing, and has experience with SPSS and Stata. Her work has included briefs on education, immigration, and election regulation. Alaina’s policy areas of responsibility include education, labour, social services, and foreign affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-242-677-3251.
DR. IVA A. DAHL
DR. IVA A. DAHL is Senior Policy Fellow in the Government and Public Policy Institute of the University of The Bahamas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism and Travel Management from Florida International University, Florida, and a Master of Business Administration with international emphasis from Azusa Pacific University, California. She also holds a Doctor of Education with specialization in Vocational, Technical and Occupational Education from Nova Southeastern University, Florida.
Dr. Dahl’s career experiences are varied and span over forty-five years in the hospitality, education, and administration, both local and international. She held the positions of Information and Research Officer at The Ministry of Tourism; Sales Representative for the Ministry of Tourism California; Third secretary and Vice Council at the Embassy of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Washington D.C., Director of Human Resources, Jack Tar Resorts Grand Bahamas; Chief Training Officer Bahamas Hotel training College, Grand Bahama; former Executive Director of the Bahamas Hotel Training College (1994–1999). She has also served as Project Manager in the Office of the Prime Minister and was a member of The Bahamas Hotel Corporation and the Ministry of Education’s Program Management Unit. Dr. Dahl became Manager/Consultant Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) (2005- 2014) and Acting President of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (2014–2015), and was then appointed Executive Director of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (2016–2021).
Her past affiliations include chairman of the Council for Caribbean Hospitality Schools, Vice Conseil Gastronomique, Chaine Des Rotisseurs, member of the Advisory Board of the Certification in Caribbean Hospitality Training and Caribbean Human Resources. She can be reached at email@example.com.
JEANNIE D. GIBSON
JEANNIE D. GIBSON is Policy Assistant in the Government and Public Policy Institute of the University of The Bahamas and aids the Executive Director in achieving the Institute’s vision and mission. She oversees GPPI lectures, seminars, promotions, and data collection on key economic indicators to support research by policy fellows. Prior to working with GPPI, Ms. Gibson worked with the Planning Office and was responsible for maintaining data and producing reports on the University’s enrollment, graduation, faculty and staff. She also provided data to assist UB’s Senior Team and external stakeholders in decision making.
Ms. Gibson has extensive experience and training in taxation, having served as Assistant Revenue Investigator in the Revenue Section of the Ministry of Finance. As Assistant Revenue Investigator Ms. Gibson was responsible for assisting in the preparation of the revenue side of the National Budget. This assistance included working closely with draftsmen in the Attorney General’s Office on bills to amend laws relating to government revenue.
Ms. Gibson holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from St. Augustine’s University (North Carolina), is a Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher (CET), and is trained in project management and strategic planning.
She is a member of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). She has co-authored several publications on taxation and higher education. Ms. Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
LESVIE ARCHER is a Policy Fellow in the Government and Public Policy Institute of the University of The Bahamas. She holds degrees from the College of The Bahamas and Saint Leo University, and is completing advanced studies at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) in Cultural Studies. She has earned certificates in project management, grant proposal and budget preparation, and supervisory management.
Mrs. Archer’s research projects focus on living wages and the cost of living, national development plans, the sustainable development goals, and exploring the evolution of The Bahamas from a historical maritime entrepot into an international financial services centre. She may be reached at email@example.com
SHACANTILA HALL-BRIGGS serves as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Government and Public Policy Institute of the University of The Bahamas. She provides executive-level support to the Executive Director in the management of the day-to-day operations of the institute. She functions as the primary contact for external offices and provides technical and logistical support for meetings, conferences, and training initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and English Literature from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Prior to her position at GPPI, Hall-Briggs served as proprietor of a management and design company and enjoyed a career in education for more than 20 years, serving in various roles from elementary and high school teacher to elementary school principal. Ms. Hall-Briggs volunteers her organizational, leadership, project management and design skills to several educational and community service initiatives, including children and young adult religious programs, the Bahamas Red Cross, Hands for Hunger, and the Bahamas Youth Leadership Development Program. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe that to execute our mission effectively we must have at our disposal local and international experts capable of guiding the institute. Therefore, the University has appointed the following highly qualified, talented, experienced professionals to serve on the GPPI Advisory Board:
- Anita Bernard, Former Secretary to the Cabinet of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
- Carmen Butler, Retired Banker
- Brenda Cleare, PhD, President, LJ Mortimer Maritime Academy
- Anthony Ferguson, President & Founder, CFAL
- Julian Francis, Chairman, Commonwealth Brewery; Former Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas
- Barry Malcolm, Businessman and Former Executive Vice President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority
- Tyrone McKenzie, PhD, TMAC Consultancy Group Ltd.
- Richard Mullaney, Executive Director, Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute
- Wendy Warren, Managing Director, Caystone Solutions
New events coming soon.
Former Central Bank Governors Analyze Monetary and Fiscal Policy
On Tuesday, 20th November, UB’s Government and Public Policy Institute (GPPI) hosted a policy forum featuring former Central Bank Governors under the theme, “The Past, Present and Future of Monetary and Fiscal Policy.” Event moderator and lead organizer Mr. Zhivargo Laing, Senior Fellow and Executive Director of GPPI, expressed the importance of open exchange of ideas about the country’s monetary and fiscal policies and the way forward. Former Governors Sir William Allen, Mr. Julian Francis, Mr. James Smith and Ms. Wendy Craigg provided key insights on the Bahamian economy, current fiscal trends and forecasts for the future. Current Central Bank Governor Mr. John A. Rolle spoke about the bank’s role particularly in balancing inflows and domestic credit and maintaining adequate external reserves.
UB President Dr. Rodney D. Smith said he hoped the forum would encourage students to consider careers in public policy, government or law and that UB has created opportunities for students and the public to become engaged and informed.
The policy forum was streamed live and made accessible to an audience in Grand Bahama at the Pelican Bay Resort in Freeport.
For additional information contact:
P.O. Box N-4912, Nassau, The Bahamas