Prof. Ishenkumba Kahwa (born: October 01, 1952) received his BSc (Ed) (Hons) and an MSc (Inorganic Chemistry) from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1976 and 1980 respectively, and a PhD (Inorganic Chemistry) from Louisiana State University (USA) in 1986.
He has served at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica Lecturer & Senior Lecturer (1987-2000); Professor of Supramolecular Chemistry since 2000-todate; Head of the Department of Chemistry (2002-2008); Dean Faculty of Science and Technology (formerly Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences) (2008-2013); and Deputy Principal 2013-2018.
He has received several awards for his work including: Order of Distinction Commander Class, CD (Jamaica, 2016); CARICOM Science Award (2011), Gleaner Award for Science and Technology (2003), Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and Public Services (2004), Fellow of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, TWAS, (formerly, the Third World Academy of Sciences). He is also a member of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
He is the Board Chairman of the Hazardous Substances Regulatory (HSRA) (Jamaica Government); Board Vice-Chairman, International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Substances (ICENS); Board Member Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC); Board Member, Mona Institute of Applied Sciences (UWI); and serves as Chief Judge for the National Innovation Awards (Jamaica) organized by the Scientific Research Council on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology.
At the regional and international level: (i) is a member of the CARICOM Committee for Science, Technology and Innovation which advises the Most Hon. Dr Keith Mitchell, CARICOM Prime Minister responsible for Science and Technology; and (ii) member of the High Level Committee on the Pan African University and a reviewer for several journals and organizations.
His research interest and over 70 publications in international journals cover: (i) coordination chemistry, spectroscopy and electronic interactions in lanthanide(III), 3-d and P-block ions; (ii) management of hazardous materials; and (iii) science/technology – development dynamics. He has mentored 13 PhD and 5 MPhil students and lead the conception and establishment of new programmes of study in environmental and occupational safety and health which are popular with students at the Mona and St Augustine Campuses of the UWI.