August 25, 2019

Policy Coordination Unit Director appointed


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Mr. Robert Lewis (Photo by Lennon Christian)

Career civil servant Mr. Robert Lewis has been appointed as the first director of the Cabinet Office’s Policy Coordination Unit. The main purpose of this post is to coordinate the development and implementation of policies across all Government ministries and portfolios.

Mr. Lewis is working with a small team of colleagues to develop independent advice for the Premier, Cabinet, the National Security Council, and other agencies – as directed by the Cabinet Secretary.

Welcoming his appointment, Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor, MBE, JP, said, “With proven strengths and experience, Mr. Lewis is well-equipped to contribute to government’s strategic growth.”

Mr. Lewis has served government for 24 years – most recently as the Department of Planning’s Assistant Director for Strategic Planning and Policy Development. He also sat on several committees tasked with developing national policies and enhancing departmental efficiencies.

Currently, he serves on the National Energy Policy Committee, the Census Advisory Committee, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Working Group. He also chairs an energy policy subcommittee, which focuses on energy efficiency and conservation in relation to land-use, construction processes and buildings.

The new policy director holds two masters degrees: in Public Policy and Management (University of London); and in Urban and Regional Planning (Florida Atlantic University). He also holds management certifications from Napier University (Scotland); and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Mr. Lewis has also served Cayman overseas, such as on the Executive Committee of the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association (FAPA) and its Broward County’s Planning Association By-laws Subcommittee.

As an advocate of best practice, Mr. Lewis conducts occasional lectures and discussions on leadership, management and career development. He has presented locally and overseas to Government entities and non-governmental organizations on policy and managerial topics such as strategic planning, smart growth and empowerment.

“I am passionate about facilitating the professional development of government’s aspiring supervisors and managers in the interest of more efficient and effective public service,” he says. In 1999 Mr. Lewis was recognised by the Civil Service Association ‘For Exemplary Service to the People and Government of the Cayman Islands’.

His interest in the enhancement of young talent is also evident in his personal life, where he contributed to the development of athletes and sports. Mr. Lewis was the first president of the Cayman Islands Martial Arts and Taekwondo Federations and has been inducted into the Caribbean Martial Arts Hall of Fame in its inaugural year.

He also served on the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, and was the president of the organizing committee for the first world-class sporting event to be hosted in the Cayman Islands – World Cup Taekwondo 1994. He was acknowledged by that sport’s world governing body for his ‘dedicated service and outstanding contributions.’

Crime in the Cross-hairs

The newly-formed Policy Coordination Unit of the Cabinet Office is off to a running start. Since beginning work this month, the team headed by its recently appointed Director Mr. Robert Lewis has already completed an action plan to implement the national Crime Reduction Strategy (CRS).

Implementing the CRS is this unit’s initial focus. The work entails coordinating and directing the related programmes, making periodic evaluations, as well as reporting the outcomes and making recommendations to the National Security Council and Cabinet.

The CRS offers a four-pronged approach to crime reduction: early intervention, reducing re-offending, prevention and situational prevention. “This holistic approach holds fast to the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’. In particular we maintain that, for crime to be effectively reduced in the medium to long-term, special attention must be given to early intervention,” said Mr. Lewis.

Strategies accompanying this plan will use hard data to gauge the effectiveness of projects and identify overlaps, duplication or gaps which may hinder the synergy of programmes being undertaken by the respective agencies.

The CRS can be viewed on the government website,, under the ‘Features’ section.

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