Mr. David Mullings was the first Future Leaders Representative for the USA on the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board and is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blue Mahoe Capital Partners and a seasoned entrepreneur with experience in the finance industry in Jamaica and the USA. He is Chairman of Ingenuity Technologies Inc, a digital transformation software company and a Director of the Caribbean School of Data funded by Google.org and housed at the Mona School of Business and Management.
Mr. Mullings graduated with an M.B.A. from the University of Miami at the age of 22 with concentrations in Marketing and International Business after playing football (soccer) with Real Mona F.C. in Jamaica after graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami at the age of 19.
What is your connection to Jamaica?
was born in Kingston, Jamaica and attended Mona Prep and then Campion College where I finished 5th form. I returned after university to play football with Real Mona F.C. and worked with Jamaica National. After my MBA, I went back twice and worked with Jamaica National, launching their online banking platform and doing product development. Now I sit in the board of 2 companies in Jamaica and the advisory board for the Caribbean School of Data at UWI’s Mona School of Business.
Have you been involved in the Jamaica Diaspora Movement or Jamaican related organizations before?
I have been involved in the movement since it started when Marlon Hill recruited me as a youth representative for the US Southeast. I then became the first Future Leaders Representative on the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board and served for 3 years. I wrote a weekly Sunday column in the Jamaica Observer focused on politics and economic development in Jamaica and also was campaign manager for Akelia Lawrence-Maitland who represented the US Northeast this last term of the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board.
If elected what will be your main goal in this role for your constituencies? What will you do to change this perception and get all Jamaicans in the Diaspora involved?
If elected, my main goals are educating people about the responsibilities of the role, increasing awareness of the movement, providing sound advice to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade based on my experience and the feedback from the community, and most importantly, facilitating the creation of a separate, independent diaspora-led organization in the Southeast, hopefully in conjunction with the Northeast.
Recently there have been some who have expressed concerns about not having a voice and too much government involvement in the new The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council format that is being adopted. Do you have any thoughts on this?
The Council is a government advisory board, not an organization directly representing the views of the diaspora. We need to be organized similar to American Jews who have AIPAC so that people can be members of something, has good governance, transparency and can legally lobby the US government or Jamaican government as needed. The only way to get all Overseas Jamaicans involved is to have a separate entity that has no direct governmental connection and I intend to advise the MFAFT on the engagement of such an organization while facilitating its creation in the Southeast, serving as a conduit to independent community members an ensure minimal hiccups.
The format for the GJDC is one that I welcome because it widens the geographic regions that can now contribute to diaspora and local Jamaican policy as well as brings subject-matter experts onto the council. We are not Members of Parliament with a constituency or US Senators with a district, simply advisors to the Minister, elected by our community to be non-partisan, a good conduit and reliable advisor.
The USA needs its own legal entity that can be branded, funded and marketed. It is no different from a service club like Rotary International whereby people with shared values and a shared vision can join and participate. That is my dream.
Is there a cohesive goal for the Jamaican Diaspora that people can rally around?
The cohesive goal that I believe we should be rallying around is that of a united Jamaica of 6 million people, not just 3 million, focused on developed country status by 205 with 2020 as the launching point. The steps to attain that goal are well-known and it cannot be done without the help of the Jamaican Diaspora.
Thanks for your time and all the best in the election. Do you have any closing thoughts?
Every day at prep school we recited the National Pledge and I grew to truly believe that Jamaica had a significant part to play in uplifting the whole human race. Alone, one person cannot fix what needs to be fixed, but together, we can help Jamaica to be an example for other developing countries to look up to in all areas, not just music and athletics. Overseas Jamaicans and Resident Jamaicans need to unite and work together for a better Jamaica and massively multiply our already outsized impact on the world because we really likkle but tallawah.