News Releases

UWI appoints new Director for Gender and Development Studies

For Release Upon Receipt - July 5, 2010

St. Augustine


Verene A. Shepherd, Professor of Social History at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI), is the new University Director of the Institute for Gender & Development Studies (IGDS), with oversight responsibility for the Mona, Cave Hill and St Augustine Units of the IGDS. Professor Shepherd will assume her new position as University Director of the IGDS on August 1, 2010. She succeeds Professor Barbara Bailey, who headed the IGDS for the past 14 years.

Professor Shepherd has had a long history with the IGDS. She was one of the founding members of the Women and Development Studies Group, which assisted in the institutionalisation of the IGDS and also served from 1996 to 1998 on the Gender and Development Studies Board as the representative of the Faculty of Arts & Education (now Humanities and Education) where she initiated the idea of the Lucille Mathurin-Mair lecture series. Professor Shepherd also taught courses on women and gender in Caribbean history and supervised graduate theses at both the Master’s and Doctoral levels on women and gender.

A prolific author, Professor Shepherd is editor/compiler of “Women in Caribbean History,” co-editor of “Engendering History: Caribbean Women in Historical Perspective” (with Barbara Bailey and Bridget Brereton) and editor of “Engendering Caribbean History: Cross-Cultural Perspectives” (forthcoming, 2010).  Among her other publications are “Livestock, Sugar & Slavery: Contested Terrain in Colonial Jamaica” (2009), “I Want to Disturb My Neighbour: Lectures on Slavery, Emancipation and Post-Colonial Jamaica” (2007) and “Maharani’s Misery: Narratives of a Passage from India to the Caribbean” (2002).

She holds the BA and MPhil degrees in History from UWI and the PhD in History from the University of Cambridge.  She is a Board Member of the Association for the Study of the World-Wide African Diaspora (ASWAD), Steering Committee Member of the South-South Exchange Programme for the History of Development (SEPHIS), member of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and a member of the International Women’s Federation. She is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society (FCCS).

In 1999 she served as Facilitator of the National Consultation on Social Infrastructure of Jamaica. She has also served as Network Professor with the York/UNESCO Nigerian Hinterland, is the Immediate Past President of the Association of Caribbean Historians, and was the first woman to Chair the Board of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. In 2007 she was appointed Chair of the Jamaica National Bicentenary Committee.


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The Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) consists of four units: the Regional Coordinating Unit linked administratively and financially to the University Centre, and reporting to the Vice-Chancellor; and three Campus Units, funded by and reporting to their respective Campus Principals and to the Vice-Chancellor through the Regional Coordinating Unit. The four units exist in a network relationship, with regard to academic programmes, administrative interventions, and matters related to governance.  The Director of the Regional Coordinating Unit also provides, when necessary, guidance on policy and governance, and is consulted by the University Office of Administration and Campus Registrars about such issues.  Fund-raising for regional projects that would benefit the entire University is also undertaken by the Regional Coordinator. In addition, the Regional Unit also develops and coordinates regional research projects, facilitates collaboration among campus units on matters of teaching, research and outreach and sets up relationships of collaboration with regional and multi-lateral institutions on behalf of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.