BELMOPAN, Tues. May 11, 2021– On Tuesday, May 11, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government met virtually in a Special Session. In this session, the group of government leaders unanimously agreed to name Dr. Carla Natalie Barnett as the 8th CARICOM Secretary-General.
Dr. Barnett is now the first woman and the first Belizean to become the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community. She is set to replace her predecessor, Ambassador Irwin LaRoque, who is completing his final term. She will officially assume the post on 15th August, 2021.
Dr. Barnett was also the first female Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM — a position she held from 1997 to 2002. Barnett has also previously served as Vice President of Belize’s Senate, Financial Secretary of Belize, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, and the Vice President in Operations at the Caribbean Development Bank. She holds a Doctorate in Social Sciences from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus in Jamaica; a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario in Canada; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from UWI.
During the CARICOM Heads of Government Special Session, Belize’s Prime Minister, Hon. John Briceño, thanked the CARICOM stakeholders for entrusting the future of the Caribbean Community to Dr. Barnett. He highlighted that Dr. Barnett’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the region, and he believes that her qualifications and impressive professional career have made her ideally suited for leading the CARICOM Secretariat. The United Democratic Party also congratulated Dr. Barnett, a former UDP senator and UDP Minister of Government, on her appointment to such a prestigious post. A release from the party says, “The United Democratic Party is pleased at the tremendous acknowledgment and recognition internationally of Belizean talent and competence which the distinguished appointment represents.”