Krissy Hanna, a trainee Administrative Cadet in the International Relations Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was nominated to attend the International Course on Diplomacy in Santiago, Chile, June 2- December 12, 2008.

Ms. Hanna, 24, was nominated by the Permanent Secretary and received confirmation from Chile of her selection as The Bahamas’ representative to study with 39 other young diplomats from the Caribbean and elsewhere.

The course, conducted in Spanish, will focus on integrating disciplines such as political science, economics, legal issues, free trade agreements and international diplomacy from a Chilean and Latin American perspective.

“I will be walking away with knowledge that I can bring back and further my career in the Foreign Service,” Ms. Hanna said.

Ms. Hanna received her tertiary education at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada where she obtained a Bachelor or Arts Degree in Political Science with honours in Spanish.

What sparked her interest in the diplomatic service was an opportunity to travel to Brazil as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student while at the St. Paul’s Methodist School in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

“It was a defining moment for me because it allowed me to represent The Bahamas as an ambassador,” she said.

Mrs. Roselyn Dorsett-Horton, Deputy Permanent Secretary and Head of the Technical Division said the Ministry “is always looking for opportunities to expose our young officers to training in diplomacy, international relations, trade and other skills that they would be able to assist the Ministry in its objectives in delivering the foreign policy of The Bahamas.”

She noted that Chile has been a “very good” country to The Bahamas, offering training opportunities to Bahamians for more than 15 years. Mrs. Dorsett-Horton attended a diplomacy course in 1995.

“The programme is an opportunity for Ms. Hanna to hone her language skills, enable her to see Chile and how they were able to negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” Mrs Dorsett-Horton said. “So anything that she can learn of their experience and come back home and apply would be of benefit to us.”

Ms. Hanna was interviewed by a representative from the Embassy of Chile in Jamaica over the phone, in Spanish, to determine her “suitability” for the course.

Ms. Hanna will be living in an apartment in the community where she will learn more about the Chilean people and culture.

“This will also allow her to be one of our specialists on Chile so when our Ambassador from Chile comes we can have staff who have experienced their culture to speak about it,” Mrs. Dorsett-Horton said.

The Bahamas and Chile established diplomatic relations on December 4, 1990. Since then, The Bahamas has benefited from bilateral exchanges in language training programmes, trade negotiations and courses offered and sponsored by the Diplomacy Academy of Chile.

Similar courses are offered by Mexico, India, Peru, China and other countries with diplomatic ties to The Bahamas.