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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Weds. May 12, 2021: The Caribbean Community, (CARICOM), on Tuesday announced the election of a new secretary general. Here are 8 things to know about her:

1: She is Dr. Natalie Barnett and she has made history as the only woman to be elected to the post. There have been 8 other CARICOM SGs.

2: Dr. Barnett was born in Belize and is also the first Belizean to be elected CARICOM SG by the 15 members nations of the body. In a statement, the Belize government hailed her election “based on her qualifications, experience and skills.” Heads of Government, in congratulating Barnett on her selection, recognized the historic moment.

3: She has already made history as the first ever woman to have served as deputy secretary-general from 1997 to 2002.

4: Dr. Barnett was formerly vice president of the Belize Senate and has served in various ministerial capacities in her country’s government.

5: She has also 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).

6: Dr. Barnett attained her Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the University of the West Indies, (UWI) 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.

7: Last month, when she was nominated for the position by Belize, she said her vision for the regional grouping is “a CARICOM that the ordinary woman and man will defend because they feel the impact in their daily lives through economic and social advancement that comes from community action.” She also added then that CARICOM should never be afraid to re-strategize when the needs are great and the resources scarce.

8: She will replace Dominican-born diplomat, Irwin LaRocque, who has been in the post since August 2011 when she assumes the office on August 15, 2021. She will serve for 5 years.

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