Jamaican Named Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Scotland

sir geoff palmer Jamaican

Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Scotland, Professor Sir Geoff Palmer, has been named the new Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sir Geoff, who is an internationally renowned scientist and human rights activist, will assume his new role at an official inauguration ceremony, which will be held during the University’s Bicentennial celebrations in October 2021.

As Chancellor, he will play a central role in promoting Heriot-Watt’s international reputation as a pioneer in research and education across its campuses in Scotland, Malaysia and Dubai.

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Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Seth George Ramocan, expressed pleasure at Sir Geoff’s new appointment.

“This is a proud moment for the Jamaican Diaspora and for all Jamaicans across the world. Sir Geoff, who made history in 1989 when he became Scotland’s first black professor, continues to be a stalwart supporter of Jamaica and the diaspora and a tireless advocate for human rights. He exemplifies academic excellence and his research into the history and connections between Scotland and the Caribbean is well known and highly regarded,” he said.

Sir Geoff completed his PhD in grain science and technology in 1967. He went on to a successful research career with Brewing Industry Research Foundation in Surrey. During this time, he invented the barley abrasion process, before returning to Heriot-Watt University in 1977 where he remained until his retirement in 2005.

Following his retirement, he earned the academic title of professor emeritus. He was knighted in 2014 for services in the fields of human rights, science and charity.

In 2018, the Jamaican government appointed Sir Geoff as Jamaica’s first Honorary Consul in Scotland and in 2020, he was awarded with the Jamaican national honour, the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), in recognition of his contribution to the Jamaican Diaspora.