Carol Hector-Harris is an award-winning journalism practitioner and educator who has made noteworthy accomplishments in a career spanning more than 40 years in print and electronic media, education, public relations, fundraising, photography, public speaking and special event coordination.
In the U. S. and the Caribbean, she is recognized as an expert communications strategist, producer, writer, and editor. As an educator, she taught communications at Columbus (Ohio) State Community College and journalism at Ohio University while working toward a PhD at Ohio University, where she is now a PhD candidate.
For more than 16 years she held key roles at the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an external affairs officer based in New York City and its Washington headquarters. In the wake of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, she was the deputy lead external affairs officer, and led the hiring a diverse team in the External Affairs section to mirror the racial and ethnic demographics of New York City. Other disaster-response deployments have sent her throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in supervisory roles. In each, she handled controversial inquiries from reporters and elected officials in high-pressure environments with tight deadlines.
A few years later she was tapped to serve as the chief spokesperson and advisor to executives during the startup of The Louisiana Road Home Program, a project designed to rebuild homes and rental properties destroyed or damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It remains the largest disaster housing recovery program in U.S. history.
Carol returned to FEMA in 2008 but stepped away to handle media relations in 24 central Ohio counties during the 2010 Census. During that time, she established the State of Ohio Media Complete Count Committee, composed of leading private and public sector communications professionals — the only committee of its kind in the nation. She returned to the Census Bureau to serve in the same capacity on the 2020 Census, this time covering 53 Ohio counties.
Carol returned to Antigua as a newspaper and broadcast news editor for The Observer Media Group. That was a reprise of an earlier stint in Antigua and Barbuda, where most notably she was producer and director of a weekly television show, Island Magazine, which was broadcast to five Caribbean Islands. The program earned top status in its time slot. She was also the founder of the first Trinidad & Tobago International Film Festival, and her efforts have made it an annual island tradition to this day.
From the mid-to late-1980s, she was director of the Office of Public Information with the Ohio Department of Human Services, leading a number of successful communications campaigns. She is most proud of the effort to highlight the number of children available for adoption in Ohio — which soon led to a 90-percent increase in adoptions statewide during the three-year campaign.
Starting in the late 1970s, Carol began researching her family history in search of her Africa-born ancestors.
After poring over documents in libraries and archives at that time and more recently the Internet, in 2010 she discovered that her great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Quock Martrick, was born in Ghana in 1756 and served in the Revolutionary War with “The Conductor,” George Washington, and also Benedict Arnold during a New York campaign. A well-respected and highly regarded husband, father and member of his community, Martrick died in Stoughton, Massachusetts in 1838. Carol has more than a dozen other ancestors who are Revolutionary War patriots.
Due to Martrick’s service, Carol became a member of the Franklinton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter in Columbus, Ohio where she served as librarian for a few years. In 2013, during an Ohio University Study Abroad program, she traveled to Ghana and met Martrick’s — and her —relatives.
Carol earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Political Science, International Politics, from The Ohio State University. She an eleventh generation in her family born in Massachusetts. When she married, she moved from Boston to Columbus, Ohio and lives there today with her husband, Bill, two sons and daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.