About Us




The Global Academy for Local Governance (GALG) is an international network of local government and community development practitioners, specialists and experts working together to equip local, regional, and municipal governments and community development organizations around the world to contribute meaningfully to sustainable development of their jurisdictions. This is done through training programs, capacity building and other interventions delivered with a unique blend and emphasis on theory and application to real life situations, while imparting functional skills. Courses are designed to provide participants with opportunities to relate theory to practical situations within their respective local government and community development context while considering international best practice.

Delivery mode:

Programs are offered on-line due to current COVID -19 pandemic situation.

Our Mission: 
To contribute to sustainable development in developing countries by training, equipping, and enhancing professional capabilities in the local government and community development sectors.

Our Vision: 
To be a viable global institution contributing to excellence in local governance and community development.

Our Core Values:

Our Experts

Our experts have more than 100 years of combined international development, local governance and community development experience working in more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Middle East, North America and Sub-Saharan Africa with some of the major international development organizations, namely United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) now Global Affairs Canada, European Union (EU) and Department for International Development (DFID) now United Kingdom Agency for International Development.

Biography – Mr. Winston Cramer

Areas of Expertise

  • Local government reform and development
  • Decentralization
  • Capacity-building training
  • Policy development
  • Gender representation and participation
  • Civil society strengthening

Mr. Winston Cramer is the Director of Programs at Global Academy for Local Governance with responsibility for program design, program development, and resource mobilization. He also leads the Certificate in Local Government Studies program. He is an international development practitioner with more than 25 years professional experience in international development working in 20 countries in North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean on projects funded by various international agencies notably United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The Commonwealth Secretariat, Department for International Development (DFID) now United Kingdom Agency for International Development, European Union (EU) and Canadian International Development Agency(CIDA) now Global Affairs Canada. Mr. Cramer is also a decentralization and local governance expert, public policy advisor, capacity-building specialist and program management professional.

Mr. Cramer has advised international organizations, Heads of State, high-level policy makers, and elected officials on a wide range of local government reform and development-related initiatives and issues, including decentralization, municipal and regional reform, and development. His operational experience includes management and fiduciary responsibility for multiple local government reform and development projects; developing local government policies; spearheading civil society participation in urban governance; and promoting women’s participation, inclusion, and representation in policy reform and development. He has also conducted capacity assessments of local government bodies and used findings to develop capacity-building, training, and other interventions to address shortcomings; conducted research on local government issues. An able presenter and facilitator, Mr. Cramer has made presentations and facilitated capacity building and training workshops at local, municipal, national, regional, and international forums.

Mr. Cramer holds an MSc in Public Policy and Management from the University of London, a certificate in Fiscal Decentralization and Local Governance from Georgia State University and a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Guyana. He is also a professionally trained teacher.

Biography – Mr. Horace Walks

Areas of Expertise

  • Local government administration
  • Community development
  • Capacity-building training
  • Social research
  • Project management
  • College administrator

Mr. Horace Walks is the Deputy Director of Programs at Global Academy for Local Governance and Team Lead for the  Certificate in Local Governance Administration program. He brings more than 20 years of professional experience in the administration of local governance and development in Canada, Guyana, and the Caribbean. He operationalized and administered the Regional Municipality of York, Canada Community Funding Program, allocating Can$20M to more than 100 community service projects. Prior to his tenure with York Region, Mr. Walks worked for 12 years as a College Director, Administrator and Consultant with Career Colleges Canada developing and directing training programs in Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Walks also brings over 7 years of professional International Development experience with the United Nations Development Program and the Caribbean Community Secretariat – an inter-governmental organization promoting the integration and development of 20 countries in the Caribbean Region.

Additionally, Mr. Walks worked for 7 years as an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Guyana where he prepared and delivered lectures to undergraduate students and conducted social research.

Mr. Walks holds a MA in Public Administration, Carleton University, Canada; a MA in Sociology of Development and Development Studies, Essex University, UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, University of Guyana.

Biography – Dr. Vedawattie Ram

Areas of Expertise

  • Leadership development
  • Transformational leadership
  • Community development
  • Capacity-building training
  • Organizational assessments
  • NGO management

Dr. Vedawattie Ram is the Team Lead for the Global Academy of Local Governance’s Leadership programs, Founder and Director of Catalyst Consulting, and one of the directors of Transparency Institute Guyana Incorporated. For more than 20 years, Dr. Ram pioneered and developed Life Coaching programs for children and youths in primary and secondary schools in Guyana and the Caribbean region while being actively involved in leading and managing non-profit organizations headquartered in UK and USA. Dr. Ram is a partner with the USA-based international non-governmental organization The Roraima Institute and leads its Emerging Young Leaders program and also a partner of the USA-based Servant Leadership Performance.com. Dr. Ram brings the capability and expertise to conduct leadership development and organizational assessments of local governments.

Dr. Ram holds a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership from Bakke University, USA. For her dissertation she developed and applied a community engagement model for local government councilors.

Biography- Dr. Tesha M. Thompson, JP

Areas of Expertise

  • Leadership capacity-building and training
  • Transformational leadership training and guidance
  • Community development
  • Training programs and curriculum development
  • Corporate communication and public relations services
  • Media products development
  • Editorial services and training
  • Translation and interpreting languages

Dr. Tesha M. Thompson is an experienced and accomplished transformational leader, community development and training specialist and communication and media practitioner.  For more than 10 years, Dr. Thompson led transformational and community development initiatives in 24 Caribbean countries under the aegis of a US-based NGO. These initiatives targeted youth and women and resulted in the development of several new start projects.

As a communication and media practitioner, Dr. Thompson produced and hosted several radio and television programs in Jamaica, was a newspaper columnist and is currently Chief Editor of Jamaica’s Kingdom Newspaper.

Additionally, Dr. Thompson spent several years in the teaching profession where she was involved in teacher training, curriculum development and adult education in its various forms. Dr. Thompson has also undertaken several consultancies in the local government and education sectors.

Dr. Thompson holds a doctorate in Transformational Leadership from Bakke Graduate University, USA, a Master of Science in Adult Learning from Walden University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Communications, Media and Public Relations, University of Leicester, England, a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation, Diploma in Teaching from Shortwood Teachers’ College, Jamaica and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Spanish with French from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. Dr. Thompson is also a Justice of Peace, Jamaica.

Biography – Dr. Wanjiku Ngunjiri

Areas of Expertise

  • Governance
  • Local governance
  • Gender participation and representation
  • Decentralization
  • Policy development
  • Pubic sector modernization

Dr. Wanjiku Ngunjiri is one of the experts of the Global Academy for Local Governance. Dr. Ngunjiri is a governance, gender and capacity development expert based in Nairobi, Kenya. As an international development practitioner, Dr. Ngunjiri has more than 15 years of international development experience working in the Eastern and Southern Africa regions, in the areas of local governance, decentralization, public policy, citizens’ engagement, capacity development, and gender representation and participation.

During these years, Dr Ngunjiri worked in a variety of roles and with several international organizations. Specifically, as Regional Public Policy Advisor for the Columbia Global Centre for Africa with head office in Columbia University, USA; Public Sector Management Specialist, for the Millennium Development Goals Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa; and Local Governance Advisor, for SNV, Netherlands Development Organization.

Additionally, Dr. Ngunjiri has undertaken several governance, gender, capacity development and research consultancies with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)) and United Nations (UN) among others.

Dr. Ngunjiri has a PhD from the University of Kenya with research focus on gender and agency in Kenya’s devolution process. Dr. Ngunjiri also holds a MSc. in Public Policy and Management from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a M.A. and B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Kenya.

Biography – Ms. Sonia Gill

Areas of Expertise

  •  Development practice
  •  Program management
  •  Governance
  •  Public sector policy analysis and formulation
  •  Media law; media production and management; communications regulation;

Ms. Sonia Gill is an accomplished international development practitioner, experienced attorney-at-law, distinguished broadcast journalist, producer, editor, media executive and first female  Secretary-General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union.

Ms. Gill is currently the Senior Advisor to United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) with responsibility for development programs in the English and Dutch Caribbean countries. Ms. Gill assumed this position after two years as Multi-Country Manager.

Prior to this, Ms. Gill was the Assistant Resident Representative and Governance Advisor of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Jamaica. For six years, Ms. Gill gave oversight to the implementation of award-winning projects focussing on Local Governance with emphases on security and safety, as well as transparency and anti-corruption.

For more than a decade Ms. Gill held positions as Assistant Executive Director and Acting Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Jamaica. Ms. Gill  also lectured in Constitutional and Administrative Law at the Institute of Law and Economics, Jamaica, and also in Media Skills and Media and Language at the Caribbean School of Media and Communications (CARIMAC), University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.

Ms. Gill distinguished herself in her multi-faceted career and earned several awards and honours and holds an MPhil in Mass Communication/Media Studies from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, and an LLB (honours) from the University of London.

Biography – Ms. Donna McKinnon

  • Local government 
  • Community development
  • Public administration
  • Capacity-building training
  • Research
  • Leadership

Ms. McKinnon is a Lecturer of Public Management and Local, Municipal and Regional Government at the University of Guyana. Ms. McKinnon is the Head of the Department of Government and International Affairs and Coordinator of the Public Management Program at the same university. Ms. McKinnon was also an instructor at the Bertram Collins College of Public Service, Guyana, an institution designed to train persons entering the public service. Ms. McKinnon taught courses in public service, public administration and leadership.

Additionally, Ms. Mc Kinnon managed programs for Caribbean Council for Blind Eye Care and the Guyana International Learning Center. Ms. McKinnon also provided consultancy services to the Ministry of Education, Guyana, the Guyana Elections Commission and the Ethnic Relations Commission.

Ms. McKinnon’s research interests are in Gender and Development. Governance and Education and her research includes women in leadership, socio-economic factors and students’ achievement, and the inter-relationship between Library and Information services and student performance.

Ms. Mc Kinnon has completed a second masters’ in Research Ethics at the Clarkson University under the Caribbean Research Ethics Education Initiative (CREEI). Ms, McKinnon is a Caribbean-Pacific Island Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS) Scholar  and earned her MA in Development Studies at the University of South Pacific. Prior to this, Ms. McKinnon graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Public Management from the University of Guyana.

Biography –Dr. Dawn Erica Lewis

Dr. Dawn Erica Lewis is a Lecturer in the College of Science and Technology, Florida A&M University and has served as an adjunct Professor in Environmental Biotechnology and Environmental Chemistry on Auburn University’s East Asia Initiative program at Central South University of Science and Technology. Originally from the Guyana, Dr. Lewis completed her BSc. (Hons) in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Loughborough University, her MSc. in Natural Products Chemistry at University of Guyana and her Ph.D. in Environmental Science at Florida A&M University. The title of her dissertation was “Biogeochemical and microbial assessment of un-mined and rehabilitated bauxite soils of Jamaica”.

Her academic path has straddled several continents and a wide range of disciplines, including pharmacy, biotechnology, environmental science/microbial ecology and laser physics.  Her research interests include isolation and characterization of phytochemicals, analysis of antioxidants from different varieties of grapes, microbial evaluation of commercially available probiotics, utilization of biogeochemical and genomic analyses for monitoring the restoration success and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the analysis of environmental  and biological samples. She is one of the persons responsible for initiating the use of LIBS for the analysis of environmental and biological samples at the Center for Plasma Science and Technology at Florida A&M University.

Biography – Mr. Lawrence Lachmansingh

Areas of Expertise

  • Governance
  • Conflict resolution
  • Civil society participation in democratic processes
  • Elections monitoring
  • Peace-building
  • Social cohesion

Mr. Lawrence Lachmansingh is an international development practitioner with experience and expertise in the areas of governance and conflict prevention, with a particular focus on conflict management, elections, and civil society participation in democratic processes.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Latchansingh has undertaken assignments in these areas in more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, and North America with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), European Union (EU), National Democratic Institute (NDI), The Carter Center, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 

Mr. Lachmansingh has supported initiatives towards building peace and democracy in Guyana and volunteered with and eventually headed, the local election observer group – the Electoral Assistance Bureau. Between 2003 and 2006, Mr. Latchmansingh managed United Nations Development Programme’s Social Cohesion Programme in Guyana. Mr. Lachmansingh currently serves as the Facilitator of the European Union – Guyana forest law, enforcement, governance, and trade process, which seeks to assure the legality of timber that is produced in Guyana.

Mr. Lachmansingh has an MBA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and a B.A. in Theology from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.