Director of Customs and Border Control, Charles Clifford, has been appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year's Honours List. The award, which was approved by Her Majesty The Queen, is "for services to customs and border control in the Cayman Islands."
Mr Clifford led the merger of elements of the former Immigration and Customs Departments to form CBC. The new organisation was officially started at the beginning of 2019 and has begun a major transformation to operate on an intelligence-led basis. This includes making use of new technology and working with the UK and international partners on training and the development of advanced passenger information.
Mr. Clifford's working career began in 1980 as a 16-year-old police cadet. Subsequently, he progressed through the ranks of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), reaching the position of Chief Inspector in charge of Police Administration. In total, Mr. Clifford served 17 years as a police officer.
He went on to study law and earned a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Degree from the University of Liverpool in 1995 and a Professional Practice Certificate from the Queen's University of Belfast in 1996.
In 1997 Mr. Clifford was appointed Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and was promoted to Permanent Secretary in 2001. In 2004, after 24 years of public service, Mr. Clifford resigned from the Cayman Islands Government and joined law firm, Quin & Hampson. In 2005 Mr. Clifford was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly - as the Second Elected Member for the District of Bodden Town, and was subsequently appointed as the Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce. He served in that post until 2009.
In 2012 Mr. Clifford was called to the bar in the Cayman Islands where he was admitted as an Attorney-at-Law. In that year he opened his own law firm, Clifford Law Associates, and partnered with two other local attorneys. In 2015 Mr. Clifford was appointed as Collector of Customs for the Cayman Islands and subsequently became the Director of CBC.
HE The Governor, Martyn Roper said: "Many congratulations to Charles Clifford. This award recognises a very long and distinguished career in service to the Cayman Islands. The work Charles has begun to transform CBC is of vital importance to the safety and security of the territory and we have come a long way in a short space of time."
The Premier, Honourable Alden McLaughlin said: "Charles Clifford and I have been friends since we were boys. I am proud of his achievements in service to the people of the Cayman Islands; from his time in the RCIPS, the Civil Service, as a Legislator and Cabinet Minister, as Collector of Customs and now as Director of Customs and Border Control. I am very pleased that his outstanding service to our community has been recognised with the award of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire."
On hearing that he was to be made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Charles Clifford said: "I humbly accept this honour and sincerely thank those who nominated me for it.
"My extensive public service career has been diverse and rewarding and I am very grateful for the opportunities which it provided for me.
"I also wish to thank my colleagues in the Customs and Border Control Service for their unwavering support. The successful merger of our Customs and Immigration Departments would not have been possible without their contribution and so I accept this honour recognizing the very important role which each of them played in my nomination for this award."