The Bahamas’ Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Sidney Collie?

Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sidney Collie

Sidney S. Collie, who began his career as a teacher, and then served as a legislator, practiced law and served in the diplomatic corps, presented his credentials as Bahamas’ ambassador to the United States on November 29, 2017. Collie is also credentialed to Mexico, Colombia and Malaysia, and is his country’s representative to the Organization of American States.


Collie was born February 19, 1950, on the lightly populated island of Mayaguana, about 325 miles from Nassau. His father was a policeman and his mother a homemaker and domestic worker. Collie attended San Salvador Teacher’s College and the University of West Indies. He later earned a bachelor of education degree in 1978 and an M.B.A. in 1981 from the University of Miami and a Master of Science degree in English from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1979.


Collie spent the first part of his career teaching for 14 years and was a high principal for three years. In the early 1980s, he was arrested for protesting teachers’ working conditions and was assigned to a less-desirable position. He also spent three years as a sales manager for Shell Bahamas. He then studied for the bar and became an attorney in 1988. In 1993, he opened a law practice with his wife, Mavis Johnson-Collie.


Collie was a sought-after expert on Bahamian law in 2007 when the courts were deciding the fate of the daughter of model Anna Nicole Smith, who lived in the Bahamas before dying in a South Florida hotel room. U.S. news agencies and television networks used Collie to explain some of the processes involved.


Collie became politically active, joining the opposition Free National Movement (FNM) in 1980. In 1992, the party won parliament with Collie as national campaign coordinator. He served as the party’s vice chairman from 1985 to 1991. He was appointed to the Bahamian senate and in 1993 won a seat in parliament from the Blue Hills constituency. He was appointed minister of lands and local government in 2007, but later gave up that post in the wake of a mismanaged election. In 2009, he was appointed high commissioner to CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, and served in that role until 2012.


Collie suffered a family tragedy in April 2013 when his mother, Edith, sister Ena and her husband were killed when a medical evacuation plane attempting to land at Mayaguana at night hit two trucks being used to light up the runway. The airport was supposed to be closed because of a lack of lighting, but an exemption was made to take Collie’s uncle to a hospital in Nassau.


The FNM called Collie out of retirement in 2016 to chair the party for the upcoming elections. His party won decisively. Collie resigned his chairmanship on September 28, 2017, after confirming his appointment as ambassador to the U.S.  


Collie has four daughters and two sons, two of daughters—Yendise and Asha—with Johnson-Collie. Collie has written several books, including one about Yendise’s extremely premature birth and another, Island Breezes, a 1985 book of short stories and poetry. Collie is also a minister and helped found Abundant Grace Church in New Providence, Bahamas, with his brother Kirklyn Collie.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

About the Ambassador (Embassy of the Bahamas to the United States)

Trump: I Love The Bahamas (by Travis Cartwright-Carroll, Nassau Guardian)

Sidney S. Collie CV


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