Welcome aboard, Dr. Ava Maxam, our newly appointed Director!
Dr. Ava Maxam has been appointed as the Director of the Institute of Marine Affairs with effect from September 4th, 2023. She brings extensive technical and management experience to the Institute with a particular focus in the areas of coastal and environmental management, sustainable development and spatial business solutions.
A strong advocate for data-driven decision-making, Dr Maxam leverages Geographic information Systems (GIS) to create models, tools, and policies for modern resource management. She specialises in developing GIS-based analytical and decision-support systems that empower governments, civil society, and the private sector, which in turn strengthens their resilience to the impacts of natural and man-made hazards including the effects of climate change. Through her technical and management expertise, she expanded GIS solutions throughout the Caribbean, leading to the development of over twenty-seven (27) customised software applications and led over sixty-eight (68) major projects for the public and private sectors.
Dr. Maxam has also dedicated herself to knowledge transfer, having developed a number of training programmes in areas such as GIS, coastal management, and the environment for undergraduates and professionals alike. Her publications include investigations into the effect of ocean circulation on Jamaica’s coral reefs and coastlines – highlighting their importance in ecological nurseries, creating unique circulation systems, and influencing water quality.
Dr. Maxam has chaired and sat on several Boards related to the environment, public affairs, education, and business development, including the Government of Jamaica’s appointments to the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) Advisory Board, and the Town and Country Planning Authority (TCPA). She has also chaired the NRCA Beaches and Coastal Resources Committee, and the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA). Dr Maxam has also served as a member of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Committee – Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSoJ). She has also been involved in a number of non-governmental organisations, including the Violence Prevention Alliance, the Peace Management Initiative and the Farquharson Institute for Public Affairs.
The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the IMA welcome Dr Maxam to the helm and look forward the fruits of her stewardship at the IMA.