Sharon C. Brennen-Haylock
Director General, MOFA
Ms Brennen-Haylock has more than 30 years of experience in diplomacy, international affairs, economic and social development, gender and management, with a brief period in the banking sector, which laid the groundwork for her keen appreciation of financial matters and fiscal discipline. During her lengthy career in the Bahamas Public and Foreign Services, her leadership skills and understanding of economic, social and sustainable development issues were well recognized. She is well-versed in international negotiations, the intergovernmental process, conflict resolution, team building, management and administration. Ms Brennen-Haylock is the recipient of the Paul L. Adderley Award for excellence in the Foreign Service, conferred by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
She is well versed in matters related to the United Nations (UN) and the UN System, as well as other international organizations and processes. She has participated in numerous international meetings including those of the UN, Organization of American States (OAS), the Bretton Woods Institutions, the Summit of the Americas, the Commonwealth, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the European Union/African, Caribbean and Pacific (EU/ACP).
In The Bahamas Government’s Foreign Service (1981 – 2002), as Undersecretary she headed the International Relations Division. She also served in a senior level capacity at The Bahamas Embassy (Washington, DC), The Bahamas Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) and The Bahamas Mission to the United Nations (UN). She was The Bahamas’ National Coordinator for the Summit of the Americas (1999 – 2002), where she also negotiated the basket of Social Development Issues on behalf of the Caribbean Region for the Third Summit of the Americas. She was Chairperson of the UN Development Fund for Women (1994), the UN Commission on the Status of Women (1996 & 1997) and the UN Committee for Programme and Coordination (2001). She was Vice Chairperson of the OAS Budget Committee (1992) and the UN 5th Committee (administration and budget - 1998). She facilitated numerous negotiations in the international arena, has had a number of speaking engagements and served as a UN consultant.
During the period 2002 – 2012, she was Senior Liaison Officer in the Liaison Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to the UN, New York, and then Director of the same Office 2012 - 2016. In that capacity, she promoted, at the UN and to the wider UN community, the broad mandate of the FAO to help build a world without hunger, in particular encouraging an understanding of agriculture, fisheries, forestry and food security issues, as they pertained to the attainment of sustainable development goals. In this context she worked closely with all member states and other stakeholders (international organizations, private sector and civil society), utilizing when necessary channels such as the Group of 77 and China, the European Union, regional groupings of the UN and other such mechanisms, to provide technical information to facilitate their negotiations. She represented FAO in a range of UN interagency meetings and other stakeholder meetings.
Effective January 2016, Ms Brennen-Haylock was appointed Director General of the Foreign Service of The Bahamas, where she leads the technical work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This includes areas such as International Relations, Intergovernmental Affairs, Economic and Sustainable Development, Legal Issues and Law of the Sea, Technical Assistance and Technical Cooperation, Consular Affairs, Communications and Protocol. She also leads intergovernmental coordination in the technical areas of work pertaining to the Foreign Service and its role to facilitate the attainment of national development goals. She continues to serve in this capacity to the present time.