Sir Meredith Alister McIntyre, OCC, OM, CCH
Former Secretary General of CARICOM; Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies
Sir Meredith Alister McIntyre was a venerable Grenada-born Caribbean economist specializing in development issues and a defender of regional economic integration in the English-speaking Caribbean.
A highly celebrated West Indian academic and intellectual, and considered one of the great social thinkers of his time, he piloted the movement for integration as Secretary-General of CARICOM from1974-1977, and as Vice Chairman of the West Indian Commission.
Early life and education
Sir Meredith Alister McIntyre was born was born in St. Georges, Grenada on 29 March 1932. He graduated with first-class honours from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1957.
He was an economics professor at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and was vice rector of the institution from 1978 to 1988. He also taught courses at Princeton and Columbia Universities in the United States. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. He also served as director of the Economic and Social Research Institute at the UWI from 1967 to 1974.
He was highly acclaimed as a developmental economist and his foremost contribution as a scholar was to the University of the West Indies as Lecturer and Vice-Chancellor from 1988 and as Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) between 1967 and 1974.
His academic career extended to the reputable Princeton University and Colombia University where he was Assistant Professor and Fulbright Fellow, respectively.
Sir Alister McIntyre served his community with distinction as a renowned scholar with many publications pertinent to Caribbean developmental issues.
Beyond academia, he was secretary general of CARICOM from 1974 to 1977, where he actively promoted an integrationist agenda. He was able to position the Caribbean region on the world scene and made a significant impact on the international arena through the many high level posts he held in various UN organisations and in a consultative capacity to Regional and International Financial Institutions, such as the IDB and the World Bank.
He has spoken and published widely, among his titles are "The Effects of Reverse Preferences on Trade Among Developing Countries" (1974); "The Political Economy of Independence for the Leeward and Windward Islands" (1975); "The Role of the Economic Integration Process in Regional Development: The Caribbean Experience" (1976); "Review of Integration Movements in the Third World with particular reference to the Caribbean Community" (1983); "Opening our Windows to the World" (1992); and "Trends in the International Business Environment: Guidelines for the Caribbean Private Sector" (1993).
Honours and awards
McIntyre was knighted by the queen of England in 1992. In 1994, he received the prestigious Order of the Caribbean Community medal the same year. He has been twice honoured by the Government of Jamaica, including receipt of the order of Merit (OM) and has also received the National Honours of the Government of Guyana (the Cacique Crown of Honour); the Gleaner’s Award: the Chancellor’s 50th Anniversary Medal for Excellence.
In 2009, the Center for Multi-Racial Studies at the UWI in Cave Hill was renamed the Alister McIntyre Building, located in the CARICOM Research Park. The Alister McIntyre Building houses the archives for the former West Indian Federation, as well as many documents related to the economic integrationist movement in general.
Sir Alister was married to wife Marjorie, and was the father of four children - Arnold, Andrew, Helga and Nicholas.
Sir Alister died on 20 April 2019 in Jamaica. He was 87.