Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry launched as Dominica’s candidate for IMO Secretary General

The Commonwealth of Dominica is launching Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry as the country's candidate for the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization post. The reception event took place in London.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is launching Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry as the country’s candidate for the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization post. The reception event took place in London. The IMO Delegates Lounge 4 Albert embankment will serve as the venue for the two-hour event, it ran from 12:00 to 2:30 PM. 

Cleopatra received the support of several Caribbean leaders at the significant event. Several prominent members of the CARICOM, including the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, extended their support to the candidate of the Commonwealth of Dominica. 


Cleopatra describes herself as Consensus Builder, Resource Mobilizer, Visionary, and Inclusive Leader. She believes the world is at the tipping point of a transformative era for the maritime sector. Accordingly, fostering a global consensus for a sustainable and resilient future is crucial. 

Talking about her vision for the future of the IMO, she stated that I would foster an inclusive approach at the IMO. She said she hopes to facilitate discussions with members, observer delegations, stakeholders, academia, civil society and the Secretariat. She added that I will actively seek collaboration with other international organizations, including ITF, ICS, UN, ILO and FAO. 

Further, Cleopatra stated that she would work to elevate the profile of IMO on the Global stage. Additionally, she committed to highlighting their crucial role in shaping the maritime sector’s future. She will engage the public through comprehensive information campaigns, highlighting the IMO’s successes in promoting shipping as a responsible, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport for global trade. 

Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry stated that she would emphasize the importance of technical cooperation programmes. She promised to improve compliance and implementation of IMO Conventions among Member States. She aims to do this by advocating for the development of innovative ideas to secure funding for these programmes. 

My experience at WMU and the ILO has demonstrated my ability to mobilize resources for technical cooperation activities. Through collaboration with WMU and IMLI, I will continue to support the education and development of future maritime leaders and policymakers. I will also work with IMO partners to ensure their long-term financial sustainability.

Individuals who supported Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry during the significant event included Dominica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs et al., Vince Henderson, St Kitts Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr Denzil Douglas, Secretary General of the Commonwealth. Patricia Scotland and other prominent members of the international community.  


The secretary general of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, registered her presence at the reception event and extended her support to the nominated candidate of the Commonwealth of Dominica for the position of secretary general of the IMO.

The Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, extended his support to Dominica’s candidate, stating that it gives me great honour and delight to present Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry for your consideration as the next Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation.

According to Dr Skerrit, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, a woman of integrity, is a towering presence in the Maritime world. She has created a visionary and transformative leadership legacy defined by excellence, action, and compassion. 

The Commonwealth of Dominica has nominated Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry as Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation. The Prime Minister expressed his confidence in her wealth of knowledge, experience, expertise, wide network, diplomatic acumen and transformative leadership. He stated that these are exactly what the International Maritime Organisation needs to strengthen it into an agile, adaptable, resilient and sustainable body.

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry has a proven track record of success. Dr Doumbia-Henry has demonstrated that she can deliver and is ready to take the mantle as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation. 

Dr Skerrit urged the international community to make history by electing Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, the first female and first person from a developing country, as the next Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization.

Meanwhile, the minister of foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Dominica also extended his support to Dr Cleopatra. He stated that Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry was a visionary leader. She has consistently delivered when and where it matters to effect transformative change in the institutions she has led and leads. 

Under her leadership, the IMO will be able to tackle today’s pressing climate change issues and the industry’s decarbonization. She will embrace and leverage technology to reshape the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the maritime sector to serve the IMOs and industry stakeholders better. She will work assiduously to strengthen the relationships and collaboration with other international organizations, member states, academia, and social partners within the shipping industry.

The complete list of nominated candidates for the position of Secretary general of the International Maritime Organization are: 

  • Moin Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh) 
  • Suat Hayri Aka (Türkiye)  
  • Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco (Panama)  
  • Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Dominica)  
  • Nancy Karigithu (Kenya) 
  • Minna Kivimäki (Finland) 
  • Zhang Xiaojie (China)

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