Carla Natalie Barnett, PhD, CBE, became the eighth Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on 15 August 2021, by unanimous appointment of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.
An economist, she brings over 30 years of professional experience in the Region to the post, including having served as Deputy Secretary-General at the CARICOM Secretariat, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Financial Secretary of the Government of Belize, and Vice President, Operations at the Caribbean Development Bank, blazing a trail as the first woman appointed in these positions. She has also provided consultancy and advisory services in public sector financial management and strategic planning.
Her multi-faceted career also includes appointments as Senator and Minister of State in the Ministries of Finance and Natural Resources, and Labour and Local Government in the Government of Belize.
Dr. Barnett’s commitment to public service has extended to volunteerism as an active Member of the Caribbean Institute of Women in Leadership (CIWiL) Belize Chapter, past President of the Belize Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), and Board Member for Haven House, a shelter for battered women. She is a consistent advocate for gender equality as good economic policy and as the sensible thing to do to create a more stable and equitable society.
Dr. Barnett has received several awards, including Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for distinguished public service.