Joan H UnderwoodManaging Director & Principal Consultant

areas of expertise
  • Talent Development
  • Strategic Planning & Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Human Resource Management
  • Change Management
  • Public Sector Transformation
  • MHSA, Health Services Administration,George Washington University
  • MBA,Cave Hill School of Business, University of the West Indies

Joan H. Underwood holds a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the George Washington University and an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Cave Hill School of Business/University of the West Indies.

Professional designations held by Ms. Underwood include that of a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the US-based HR Certification Institute, the Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and the title of Accredited Director (Acc.Dir.) conferred by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators based in Canada and credentialed Master Trainer as designated by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). She is also a member of the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM), the Human Resource Management Association of Barbados (HRMAB) and a honourary member of Human Resources Professionals of Antigua and Barbuda (HRPAB).

Ms. Underwood has served as president of the Antigua/Barbuda Employers Federation and received the Caribbean Employers in Confederation Employers Champion Award in 2001 as well as a 2011 award for contributions made to the growth and development of the business community in Antigua and Barbuda. Ms. Underwood is also a founding member and Past President of the Professional Organization for Women in Antigua/Barbuda (POWA).

Joan lectured in the UWI Distance Education undergraduate management science programmes in Antigua for three years and is currently a facilitator and subject matter expert in the Cave Hill School of Business (CHSB) Executive Diploma in Management and Executive MBA courses. Her relationship with CHSB also includes serving as a mentor in their corporate leadership development programmes.


As a result of her business acumen and sound understanding of and appreciation for corporate governance Ms. Underwood has been selected to serve on a number of boards in both the private and public sectors. In June 2004 the Government of Antigua & Barbuda invited Ms. Underwood to serve as the Non-resident Ambassador to a number of Latin American Countries. In July 2009, those responsibilities were expanded to include serving as the country’s Chief Implementation Officer operating out of the Office of the Prime Minister.

In January 2012, Ambassador Underwood relinquished her diplomatic portfolio to take up the position as Regional Project Manager for the Caribbean Leadership Project (CLP). In November 2014, that role was expanded to include co-facilitation of CLP’s experiential, multi-module leadership development programmes which targets public sector leaders in twelve CARICOM countries.

Underwood Talent Development Services Inc. (UTDS) is the brainchild of Joan and her brother Jerome. She now serves as the company’s Managing Director and Lead Consultant specializing in talent development, strategic planning and management, leadership development programmes design and delivery, strategic human resource management and change management.

When she is not engaged with her professional duties, Ambassador Underwood enjoys public speaking and the performing arts – with emphasis on drama and pan music. She is also passionate about human integral development and volunteers her time, talent and treasure to the Roman Catholic Church and the Professional Organization for Women in Antigua/Barbuda (POWA). The Ambassador has a special fondness for the Doberman pincher breed.

how can we help you?

UTDS welcomes the opportunity to CONSULT with you and help to CONCEIVE and CREATE high performance solutions for your organization.

Joan Underwood is a strong technical specialist in public sector management, civil service reform and in the overall area of government efficiency. As a government counterpart in Antigua and Barbuda she has served her country well in diligently and doggedly pursuing reforms to increase management efficiency for the betterment of the people she served. Joan’s style of directness, tact and a high amount of intellectual acumen gets people’s attention. I hope to have the opportunity to work with Joan again in the future.

Kathy Lalazarian
Sr. Public Sector Specialist, World Bank

We are ready to CONCEIVE and CREATE. Are you ready to CONSULT us?