The fourth edition of the Leading Women Series was held to commemorate the International Women’s Day in 2019 and took place at the Residence of the Colombian Embassy. The event had the honour of hosting H.E. Elizabeth Ines Taylor Jay, Ambassador of Colombia in Kenya and Permanent Representative to the UN Environment Programme and UN Habitat, who shared her story, as an environmentalist and diplomat and inspired the audience on what it took to get her to where she is.
H.E. addressed the challenges of moving from a small island to a big cosmopolitan city, her different experiences and interaction with women around the 11 countries that she covers as an Ambassador and her views on differences and similarities between Latin America and Africa in terms of women empowerment.
The Ambassador also shared her personal experience and views on the importance of her mentors as role models who recognised her potential at a critical point in her life and were instrumental in getting her where she is today. She shared about has been able to face her fears, learn from mistakes and to overcome them.
Her personal path, her experience moving with her family to a different continent and her life balance between long working hours, social events as a diplomat and her family life are a story to tell and an example to follow.
The Leading Women Series is a platform for thought-provoking conversations on how women can achieve their full potential as we celebrate women who have made considerable contribution to transform their communities and country.
H.E. Ms. Elizabeth Taylor Jay is the Ambassador of Colombia to Kenya based in Nairobi and covering Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. She is also the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where she serves as the Co-Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives for the Latin American and the Caribbean, Nairobi Chapter. Additionally, she is the Permanent Representative of Colombia to UN Habitat and serves as Colombia’s Permanent Observer to the African Union.
Before her current assignment, she served as the first Director of Marine, Coastal and Aquatic Affairs of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia. In addition to this, for more than eight years she was the Executive Director of the Environmental Authority, CORALINA, of the San Andres Archipelago. During this time, she led the process for the establishment of the largest Marine Protected Area in the Caribbean Sea (Seaflower MPA) and the implementation of the larger UNESCO Seaflower Biosphere Reserve. Because of her dedication, UNESCO granted to her the Michel Batisse Award for Biosphere Reserve Management in 2012.
Ambassador Taylor has extensive experience in marine and coastal environmental management, sustainable development, small island ecosystems management, ecosystem based adaptation and community participation, and protected areas participatory planning and implementation processes and international environmental negotiations. Ambassador Taylor was born in Old Providence Island, Colombia and holds a degree in marine biology with a master degree in Marine Environmental Protection from the University of Wales in Bangor, U.K. She is a devoted wife and mother.