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Ambassador Johnson proud of foreign minister daughter

Ambassador Johnson proud of foreign minister daughter


AMBASSADOR Anthony Johnson sat in the ballroom at King’s House yesterday and watched with pride as his daughter, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, was sworn in as Jamaica’s new minister of foreign affairs.

“Well, it’s a great thing to see my second generation trying to make a contribution to Jamaica as well,” he said after the ceremony when the Jamaica Observer sought his reaction to his daughter’s achievement.

“Of course, she’s a highly qualified person, she’s a lawyer, and when you have highly qualified people like that who jump into politics it is to be applauded, because we need to have people who are going in to help, not going in for what they can get,” Johnson added.

Asked what his reaction was when she first told him she was entering politics, Johnson, who served in both Houses of Parliament, said: “I was very supportive.”

He explained that Johnson Smith actually got involved in politics when Generation 2000, the young professionals arm of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), wanted some active women.

At the time, he was stationed abroad on diplomatic service.

“They were told that Mr Johnson’s daughter is here and she’s a very nice lady. Every time she comes around she’s helpful, so let us ask her, [so] she went and joined them,” he told the


Ambassador Johnson, a Kingston College old boy, joined the JLP in 1980 after working in the private sector and was appointed to the Senate.

He served as minister of state in the 1980s in the ministries of industry and commerce, and agriculture during his time as member of parliament for St Catherine North Eastern from 1983 to 1993. He was also Opposition spokesman on a number of portfolios, including education, agriculture, mining, energy, and technology.

He served as senator until December 2007 when he was appointed as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States.

In May 2010, he was assigned to London as Jamaica’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom and non-resident ambassador to the Republic of Finland, the kingdoms of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

Given his vast experience in the foreign service, Johnson didn’t hesitate when the suggestion was made that he would be willing to give his daughter a few tips as she takes up her new post.

“Whenever she needs any advice I will be very happy to provide it,” he quipped.

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Charles Hyatt Being positive is a lifestyle and I live everyday loving the fact that I'm living every day. Each time I help someone smile, it reiterates the power of Good. So, I think, talk, eat, drink, Good News.

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