Dr. Jerrol Thompson Profile
He was the Minister of Telecommunications, Science and Technology and Industry from April 2001- December 2010 along with being a member of the Council of Ministers of ECTEL. Over the said period, he has also served as the President of Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). While he has not been the Minister of Telecommunications since 2010 he has been serving his country St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the capacity of Director of Special Projects which covers among other things a number of national ICT initiatives inclusive of cyber security and cyber crime. During this tenure he has been responsible for a number of significant accomplishments both at the local and regional levels. Some of these include:
- Growing ECTEL into a full fledge regional regulatory organisation after it was established in 2000.
- Moving speedily to establish the SVG-NTRC in November 2001 which regulates the telecom sector at the national level and thereafter providing the necessary support and guidance as it grew into one of the bright spot agencies of the
- Driving the liberalization of the telecom sector both at the local and regional ECTEL level that was required after the telecom act was enacted in 2001. While the act provided the legal framework to open the market too competition, there were existing monopoly license agreements with the incumbent provider Cable and Wireless which required extensive negotiations to terminate these license agreements before the telecom sector could have been practically opened for competition. The fruits of his labor could be seen where St.lucia and St.Vincent and the Grenadines were the second in line to get mobile telephone competition in the Caribbean in march 2003 after Jamaica had led the way shortly before.
- As Minister of Telecommunications and continuing as Director of Special Projects, he has facilitated the development of many ICT related regulations and legislation culminating in the recent enactment of the Cybercrime bill in 2016.
- In his tenure as the President of the CTU he oversaw the transformation of the organisation which was almost on its death bed to one that has now grown to being at the forefront of ICT strategy and policy development across the Caribbean.
- He had represented the Caribbean internationally in Rome, Geneva, London, Mumbai, Uruguay, Columbia and at the United Nations in New York.
- Thompson was the visionary behind the establishment of the Center of Excellence at Diamond which is now home to a number of ICT incubatees that has received funding and support from the World Bank funded CARCIP Project. If one examines the components of the CARCIP Project you will see Dr. Thompson’s input on a number of items from the new IPPBX for the Government, the IXP equipment, venture funding for ICT start ups, training grants in ICT, and something that he has been passionate about since his first year as a Minister and that of a Government Wide Area Network that not only connect government buildings and offices in capital Kingstown but extending outside off the city.
- And we cannot end without mentioning his baby. The SVG National Center for Technological Innovation (SVGNCTI). Bringing it to an independent government company from a department within the Telecommunications Ministry; its now a major certified Training and Business Incubation facility that has trained thousands of Vincentians in ICT since its establishment. It has now also been established as the local official resellers of the .VC country level top level domain.
Some persons might think Dr. Thompson has a Doctorate in ICT but he was actually a Medical Doctor before entering politics in 2001. However we would not be surprised if he is awarded an Honorary doctorate soon for his work and knowledge which he has built up over the last 16 years in the ICT sector. He is a visionary and an out of the box thinker. Passionate is a mild word for his love for ICT.