Alumni Profile: Jondo Malafa Obi, Cert Hon, BEM

By the Alumni Relations Office

USIU-Africa alumna, Mrs. Jondo Malafa Obi, in recognition of her service to the Cayman Islands was recently awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) as part of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 2022 Birthday Honors & 70th Anniversary Jubilee. Jondo is the Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Red Cross and has successfully changed the strategic direction for the organization over the last 18 years.

As an auxiliary to the Government, the Red Cross plays a prominent role within the national response mechanism of the country supporting national emergencies including the recent COVID-19 pandemic response and the Hurricane Ivan response in 2004 which devastated 85% of the infrastructure of the Cayman Islands.

In the Spring quarter of 1989, Jondo arrived at the once known Mayfair Hotel in Westlands and joined USIU-Africa to commence a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration which she completed in 1992. She returned a year later to complete a Master’s degree in International Business Administration. Some of her fond memories of USIU-Africa during that time was meeting fellow students from various countries and hanging out at the “Visions Nightclub” on Thursdays which was themed “Spaghetti Night” specifically created for USIU-Africa students.

On completion of her studies, she was hired by the United Nations, where she was assigned to Kigali Rwanda from 1999 - 2000 and worked with various UN organizations, including; the Peace Keeping Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR); the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United National International Criminal Tribunal (UNICTR). She continued her career and was re-assigned to Congo Brazzaville and worked with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) where she occasionally served as head of Country Office in the absence of the Country Director.

Previous awards include receiving the Certificate & Badge of Honor from the Cayman Islands Government and a 10-year service award from the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens, Cayman Islands where she served as a board member and sat as Chair of several committees.

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