The passing of former Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation, His Excellency, Ambassador Don Mills, OJ

We regret to announce the passing of His Excellency, Ambassador Don Mills on Monday 16 March 2015. Ambassador Mills was in his 94th year.

Following a distinguished career with the Jamaican Civil Service and Diplomatic Corps, encompassing a wide range of roles including service with international organisations and civil society groups, Ambassador Mills served as the Commonwealth Foundation’s Chair from 1997 to 2000.

In tribute to the service to his country at bilateral and international levels, the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “We are indebted to Ambassador Mills, whose professionalism, dedication and principled approach, all pursued with his own brand of sensitivity and care, ensured a level of respect for Jamaica which has served us well over the years since.” 

Following his retirement from diplomatic service, Ambassador Mills’ work focused more on the civil society sector where he became a member of a number of non‐governmental organisations, with a particular interest in environmental advocacy. 

It was at this time that he was appointed Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation. During his tenure the Foundation started to change from a grant making organisation to an agency concerned with civil society and its role in achieving development. This laid the ground for the Foundation’s current mandate to support civic participation in governance. 

He is very fondly remembered by Foundation staff, particularly for the respect he commanded from the Board of Governors. Foundation Director, Vijay Krishnarayan said:  “Ambassador Mills was the first Chair of the Foundation that I had the chance to meet. He was a lovely man as well as an accomplished diplomat. He made us in the Caribbean proud and was respected across the Commonwealth.” 

Ambassador Mills left a lasting impression on all who knew him. The Commonwealth Foundation and Commonwealth Secretariat join with his own family and colleagues in mourning his passing, yet celebrating his life and achievements.