News Releases

The UWI congratulates alumna Dr Carla Natalie Barnett on her historic CARICOM appointment

For Release Upon Receipt - May 14, 2021


The University of the West Indies (The UWI) congratulates Dr Carla Natalie Barnett who was announced as the 8th Secretary-General of CARICOM on Tuesday May 11, 2020. The two-time UWI graduate has made history as the first woman to be appointed to the post.

Dr Barnett attained both her Ph.D. in Social Sciences and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from The UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica. The UWI community is filled with great pride to have yet another member of its alumni ascend to one of the highest offices in the region. Dr Barnett is the third UWI Alum to assume the role of CARICOM Secretary-General, following Ambassador the Honourable Edwin W. Carrington and Ambassador the Honourable Roderick Rainford.

In formal correspondence addressed to the new Secretary-General Designate, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expressed his personal congratulations, noting that her appointment comes at a time when the Caribbean faces existential threats from chronic diseases, climate change and now COVID-19. He said that The UWI is especially gratified that one of its own holds this position of leadership during this critical time. Vice-Chancellor Beckles added, “The UWI and the CARICOM Secretariat have an excellent track record of working together. I look forward to building on those tremendous gains and hope that there will be an opportunity soon for us to discuss ways to deepen the collaboration.”

A distinguished Belizean, Dr Barnett previously served as a Deputy Secretary-General of CARICOM, was formerly Vice-President of the Senate in her country and has also served in various ministerial capacities. Among her other leadership roles include Financial Secretary of Belize, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, as well as Vice-President (Operations) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The University of the West Indies offers its heartiest congratulations to the first female CARICOM Secretary-General and wishes her a long and successful tenure.




About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)