VIRTUAL ISLAND SUMMIT
MEET OUR SPEAKERS
We are currently planning the agenda for the Virtual Island Summit 2020… Stay tuned – the full program will be announced in June!
Interested in speaking or know someone who might be? Submit a speaker application/nomination here.
University of California, Berkeley
He was a partner with international accounting firms KPMG and Deloitte and held senior positions locally at Kleinwort Benson and Barclays Wealth.
He was elected to the States of Deliberation in April 2012 and was Treasury and Resources Minister until 30th April 2016. Following his re-election to the States of Deliberation in April 2016, he was elected President of the Policy & Resources Committee, Guernsey’s Chief Minister on 4th May 2016.
Deputy Gavin St Pier
Chief Minister, Government of Guernsey
In the political sphere, she managed the Progressive Labour Party's successful 2017 general election campaign in Bermuda and was involved as a campaign consultant with political parties in Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis and Grenada. She also worked on President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign for President.
In the corporate sector, she was a consultant with Deloitte and worked on a number of private sector management projects. Ms. Lightbourne holds an LLB from the University of Westminster.
Special Advisor to the Premier of Bermuda, Government of Bermuda
Early Years and Education
Ralph E. Gonsalves, known affectionately as ``Comrade Ralph``,was born in a rural village at Colonarie, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, on August 8, 1946 to his father, Alban Gonsalves (a farmer and small businessman, now deceased) and his mother, Theresa Francis (a small business woman). His foreparents came to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 1845 as indentured servants from the Portuguese-ruled island of Madeira, some 300 kilometers off the north-west coast of Morocco in North West Africa. He is married to Eloise Gonsalves nee Harris, a Trinidadian of Dominican parentage, who is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill campus) in English and French and of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in Designing. Dr. Gonsalves is the father of five children (Camillo, Adam, Isis, Storm and Soleil), aged between 32 years and 9 years. He and his wife are practising Roman Catholics.
Ralph Gonsalves attended the Colonarie Roman Catholic Primary School and then the St. Vincent Boys’ Grammar School. Thereafter, he was educated at the following tertiary institutions:
* University of the West Indies (U.W.I.) (Jamaica) from which he obtained the B. Sc. (Econ.) and M. Sc. (Govt.) degrees;
* University of Manchester (England) from which he secured his Ph.D. degree in Government. During his doctoral studies at Manchester he spent one year at Makerere University in Uganda (East Africa) as a Research Associate conducting research work for his doctoral dissertation entitled ``The Political Economy of Trade Unions and Industrial Relations in Uganda, 1950 – 1971.``
* Gray’s Inn (London) from which he obtained his Degree of Utter Barrister (professional law qualification)
At University, Ralph Gonsalves participated fully in a range of activities including: student politics; public-speaking and debating; cricket; steelband (He was a tenor-pan player for the University steelband); and journalism for the student newspaper. During this time he was the recipient of many student awards, including ``The Student of the Year Prize for 1969 at U.W.I. (Mona Campus).`` He represented U.W.I. at the American Debating Championships; and he was elected President of the Guild of Undergraduates (the student body) at the same university. He was the first Vincentian student at U.W.I (Mona) to have been ``Student of the Year``, Championship Debater, and Guild President.
Dr. The Honourable Ralph Everard Gonsalves
Prime Minister, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Anna holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies and a Master’s Degree in Education, Leadership and Learning. Her Master’s thesis explored the challenges involved in implementing child-centred learning pedagogies. She also holds a Doctorate from the University of Sheffield in the UK.
Lecture in the Faculty of Education, University of Malta
Ambassador Blackman has worked in the international development sector for over fifteen years, and has engaged as an international trade law specialist and development consultant respectively.
He served as a legal Consultant in Caribbean Law Firm, where he led the team on issues international trade and data protection laws from 2016.
Ambassador Blackman is the Chair for the Trade and Environment Committee in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and former Chair of the Trade and Development Committee and chairs the SIDS Group in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
He is an Associate member of the London based, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators , and has both an LLB Law and LLM International Trade Law from the University of Essex.
Barbados Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations
School Improvement Advise, Isle of Man Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Fellow, University of the West Indies
He was formerly the BVI Representative to the UK and EU during which time he served as the Territory’s chief diplomat and Director of the BVI London Office, as well as Senior International Strategist for the Premier’s Office with responsibility for UN and the Commonwealth.
Benito is a member of the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and AMLP Forum—The Financial Crime and Corruption Association.
He holds a Master of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Strategy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Morehouse College.
He has represented the BVI in numerous international fora on a range of subjects such as financial services, climate change, biodiversity, hurricane recovery and constitutional relations, among other things.
Special Envoy, British Virgin Islands Government
Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island
He was formerly Visiting Research Fellow at both KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of South East Asian and Caribbean Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands, and at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), University of the West Indies, Jamaica.
His main research interests focus on contemporary developments within the British Overseas Territories and the international political economy of the Caribbean. Recent books include Euro-Caribbean Societies in the 21st Century (with S. Chauvin and B. Cousin) and Post-colonial trajectories in the Caribbean: The Three Guianas (with R. Hoefte and M. Bishop). He has had articles published recently in Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, The Contemporary Pacific, Third World Quarterly and The Round Table.
University of the West of England
University of Prince Edward Island
The Edge Foundation
Mr. Richardson holds a BA (Phi Beta Kappa) in Classics and English from Howard University and an MPP in Public Policy from Georgetown University. He is based on the island of Antigua.
Sr. Vice President, BuzzMaker
He has done campaign work in the US, Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico, and is a partner at BuzzMaker, a political consulting firm based out of Washington, DC. He is a weekly columnist in the San Juan edition of Metro, and an occasional op-ed contributor to The Washington Post, Latino Rebels, El Nuevo Día and El Vocero.
He holds degrees from Yale (B.A.), Johns Hopkins (M.A.) and the University of Puerto Rico (J.D.). He lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico with his wife, his daughter, a cat and a dog.
Principal, Valdies-Prieto y Asociados
Professor, University of Delaware
Owner, Red Advertising & Marketing