Eighth CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr Carla Barnett, will be the regional body’s first female and Belizean in that post. (Image courtesy CARICOM Secretariat)

The new Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr Carla Natalie Barnett, will assume duties officially on Monday 16 August 2021, following an Installation Ceremony at 10:00 am, to welcome her into office.

Dr Barnett is the first female CARICOM Secretary-General, and the first Belizean to be selected for the post.  She succeeds Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who has completed two terms in the post.

She was voted in unanimously by CARICOM Heads of Government in Special Session, during a virtual meeting on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

The Installation Ceremony will be livestreamed on CARICOM’s social media platforms: CARICOM You Tube Channel, at https://youtu.be/PFj4EzWr0vw; and the CARICOM Facebook Page, at https://www.facebook.com/caricom.org

A release from the CARICOM Secretariat says the current Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Gaston Browne, will welcome the new Secretary-General and bring greetings from the Conference of Heads of Government.

Dr Barnett will address the Ceremony and is expected to outline her vision for her tenure of office as the regional body’s eighth Secretary-General, highlighting those matters that will occupy her immediate attention.

She is well familiar with the operations of CARICOM, having served as a former Deputy Secretary General.  In her home country, Belize, she served as a vice president of the Belize Senate and in various ministerial capacities in her country’s government. She also has served as Financial Secretary of Belize and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, as well as Vice-President (Operations) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Dr Barnett attained her PhD in Social Sciences from The University of the West Indies’ Mona Campus in Jamaica. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from The UWI.