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Trinidad & Tobago Investment Conference

Council on Foreign Relations

58 East 68th Street (at Park Avenue) New York, NY 10065

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Photos of the event can be found here.

Video of the event can be found here. (Keynote video here)


Presiding: Christopher Sabatini, Senior Director, Policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Elie CanettiAdvisor, Western Hemisphere Department, International Monetary Fund Joycelin Hargreaves, Chief Executive Officer, Chaguaramas Development Authority Rikhi Permanand, Executive Director, Economic Development Board / Council for Competitiveness & Innovation 


Presiding: Gregory HannaysPartner, Ernst & Young Caribbean

Senator the Honorable Vasant BharathMinister of Trade, Industry & Investment, Trinidad & Tobago 
Christopher James, President, Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association Racquel Moses, President, InvesTT


Presiding: Marla Dukharan, Group Economist, RBC Caribbean

Eric Vincent Guichard, Chairman and CEO, Gravitas Capital Advisors; Founder & CEO, Homestrings, Inc.
Wendell Mottley, Chairman, Trinidad & Tobago Unit Trust Corporation Jwala Rambarran, Governor, Central Bank, Trinidad & Tobago Franco Siu Chong, Chairman, Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Center

VIDEO | Keynote Session & Networking Luncheon TRINIDAD &  TOBAGO-U.S. RELATIONS

Presiding: Lakshmi Singh, Newscaster, NPR

H.E. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, M.P,  Prime Minister, Trinidad & Tobago


Presiding: Harold Trinkunas, Senior Fellow & Director, Latin America Initiative, Brookings Institution

Selwyn LashleyPermanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy & Energy Affairs, Trinidad & Tobago Anand Ragbir, Vice President Commercial, National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Merlyn Rennie-Browne, Vice President, Energy Development Department, National Energy Corporation


The Honorable Kamla Persad-Bissessar is Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago. She was born on April 22, 1952. As a little girl she was always interested in reading novels and was intrigued by the developing technologies of the time. She graduated from Iere High School and the University of the West Indies, Norwood Technical College (UK), and the Hugh Wooding Law School. Consequently, she was awarded a B.A. (Hons.), a Diploma in Education, a B.A. of Laws (Hons.), and a Legal Education Certificate. In 2006 she obtained an Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (Trinidad). On completion of her studies, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar entered the teaching profession. Her career history can be described as people-centered and one that has always focused her energy within the public eye. While in England pursuing studies, she was a social worker with the Church of England Children's Society of London. She taught at St. Andrew High School and Mona Campus in Jamaica and, later, at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies. She lectured at the Jamaica College of Insurance and at a Tertiary Education institution. After lecturing for a total of six years, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar became a full-time attorney. In 1987 Mrs. Persad-Bissessar entered the political arena. From 1987 until 1991, she served as alderman for St. Patrick County Council. Representing the United National Congress in Opposition, she took the Oath of Allegiance at a sitting of the Senate on November 1, 1994. Since 1995 she has been the Member of Parliament for Siparia, serving as Attorney General, Minister of Legal Affairs and Minister of Education from 1995 to 2001. The United National Congress returned to the Opposition benches in 2002 and on April 26, 2006, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar was appointed Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to ever hold that position in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. She was again appointed Leader of the Opposition on February 25, 2010, and then elected political leader of the United National Congress. On Tuesday May 26, 2010, two days after a victory at the polls, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar created history yet again, becoming the first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister. She is married to Dr. Gregory Bissessar and has one son.


Senator the Honorable Vasant Bharath is Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investments, and part of the Ministry of Finance and the Economy. He comes from an international corporate background with a record of achievement in complex and culturally diverse business transformations. He grew up in politics, following in his father's footsteps in November 2007 becoming the Parliamentary Representative for St. Augustine. Minister Bharath's corporate work experience spans various sectors, including Financial Director of John Dickenson ltd.; Managing Director of Agostini Industries Limited; Chief Executive Officer of National Flour Mills Limited; Directeur Generale at Thomas Cook Europe, where he was responsible for launching the world's first interactive website for the purchase of foreign exchange; Head of Global Marketing of Gulf Oil, where he was responsible for the marketing functions of 55 countries; and Chief Executive Officer of Nutrimix Flour Mills Ltd., where he built a little known brand, Country Pride, into a household name. Minister Bharath's board appointments have included Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association (TTMA), and Chairman of the Board of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC). He is a Chartered Accountant by profession (FCCA) and holds Master's degrees in Law (LLM), specializing in Intellectual Property Rights, and in Business Administration (MBA), specializing in International Marketing. He served as Minister of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs from May 2010 to June 2012. 


Elie Canetti is an advisor in the Western Hemisphere department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where his principal duties are as mission chief for Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and as the IMF director of the Caribbean Regional Financial Project, a joint initiative between the IMF and Caribbean financial authorities. He also coordinates technical assistance for the department and is a co-manager of its financial surveillance program. Since 2009, he has been an adjunct professor of finance at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining WHD, he spent nine years in the IMF's Monetary and Capital Markets (MCM) department. While there, he led the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for the Bahamas during 2011-2012 and managed some of the IMF's multilateral financial sector surveillance. He also co-supervised the IMF's Global Financial Stability Report from 2005-09, as well as its internal market monitoring and analysis. He has worked on a wide range of financial issues and served on the Financial Stability Board's (FSB) Analytical Group on Vulnerabilities. Prior to MCM, he spent seven years as a country desk officer in the Asia and Pacific Department, including during the Asian financial crisis. He has previously worked with Mohamed El Erian at PIMCO as an emerging market analyst and also worked at the U.S. Treasury and World Bank. His publications include co-authoring a landmark corporate pricing study, Asking About Prices, with former Federal Reserve vice-chairman Alan Blinder and others. He has also published working papers on stress testing with Black Swan author Nassim Taleb and others, and on early warning indicators of financial stress with some IMF co-authors. He holds graduate degrees in economics from Princeton University (where he was a teaching assistant for Ben Bernanke) and the London School of Economics, and an undergraduate degree in political economy from the University of California at Berkeley. He is also an accomplished jazz pianist.


Marla Dukharan is Group Economist for RBC Caribbean banking, and specializes in analyzing global economic trends and assessing their impact on territories throughout the Caribbean. With over 15 years’ experience as an economist, Ms. Dukharan has conducted primary and secondary economic research and analysis, developed research infrastructure, and led research teams in business and academia. She also routinely advises various corporate governance, risk management, strategic planning and investment management committees, on the relevant impact of global and local developments. Ms. Dukharan has represented RBC Caribbean banking at many industry and academic conferences, and in media engagements. Ms. Dukharan is an executive member of the Trinidad & Tobago Economics Association (TTEA), and a founding member of the Caribbean Leadership Group of the Commonwealth Business Women (CBW) forum. Ms. Dukharan holds a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in Economics, and has received risk analysis training from Standard and Poor’s and Bloomberg. Her research on Behavioral Finance has been published internationally in peer reviewed journals, and presented at academic conferences in the region.


Eric Vincent Guichard is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Homestrings Inc. With his experience of remitting money back to Africa, and the limitations of currently available investment options that truly make an impact and are profitable, he was driven to create Homestrings Inc., a web-based platform that facilitates Diaspora investments in their home country. Mr. Guichard is also currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GRAVITAS Capital Advisors Inc., an asset management firm he founded in 1996. GRAVITAS Capital advises global and sovereign institutional assets. Prior to GRAVITAS Capital, Mr. Guichard was Portfolio Manager at the World Bank (1990-1996) where he also served as technical adviser to sovereign and multilateral institutions worldwide. He is a graduate of the University of Dakar in Senegal, of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and of the Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA with a World Bank Scholar and Harvard Fellowship award. Mr. Guichard lectures internationally and has published articles on global finance and risk management. He is a frequent commentator in the broadcast, online, and print media including BBC Radio, Vox Africa, CNBC Africa, Radio-France Internationale, the Wall Street Journal Europe, Reuters, and the Financial Times. Furthermore, he was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year--2013” by African Diaspora Awards--London. Homestrings has been twice nominated as “Best Innovation--2013,” by IC Publications, an African Diaspora Award.


Gregory Hannays is a Partner in the tax practice of Ernst & Young Caribbean, with responsibility for the oil & gas sector, human capital, and corporate tax compliance. With over 16 years of experience, Mr. Hannays has a considerable working knowledge of the various fiscal regimes throughout the Caribbean, both onshore and offshore, and specializes in the area of corporate international tax advisory. He has developed and implemented tax minimization structures for multinational clients throughout the Caribbean and managed the Caribbean Tax Desk of Ernst & Young in New York for a period of two years. A leading tax advisor in the oil & gas sector, Mr. Hannays has developed close, meaningful working relationships with upstream producers, advising on the tax implications for license holders and parties to production sharing contracts, as well as providing tax advice to a number of petrochemical manufacturers. He has made presentations to governments on opportunities for the development and enhancement of fiscal regimes governing petroleum operations and spoken extensively on petroleum tax related issues throughout the Caribbean and North America. Mr. Hannays is a Chartered Accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the United Kingdom.


Joycelin Hargreaves is Chief Executive Officer of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA). Since her appointment as CEO in 2011, Ms. Hargreaves has aggressively undertaken the task of revamping the operations of the CDA, changing its face and image as it repositions itself as that of Property Development Facilitator. Her effective management skills and strategic innovative thinking seek to position Chaguaramas as a world-class eco-tourism destination, creating attractive investor appeal and exceptional customer experiences in business, recreation, and entertainment. A graduate of Henley specializing in business, finance, and economics, Ms. Hargreaves has honed her dynamic leadership skills in change management and transformation initiatives following her years at senior management positions. Undeniably, her success at managing new operations as well as her proven record for introducing new thinking and strategies to change public perception has been brought to bear on the current state of the CDA. She describes CDA’s transformation initiatives as a challenge for which she passionately and aggressively pursues: a challenge of ensuring that the CDA provides that enabling environment and infrastructure for innovative entrepreneurs interested in eco-friendly entertainment and business solutions, which are in alignment with the government’s diversification thrust away from oil and gas. Her approach to management via consensus building, freedom of speech, and shared interests are poised to bring the culture change needed to boost investment and business opportunities at the CDA, while simultaneously manifesting new employment opportunities and sustainable development for the Chaguaramas Peninsula and Offshore Islands.


Christopher James (MBE) is a hotelier in Tobago, past Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Tobago, and President of the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association. Mr. James has also been the Regional Chair of the Travel Foundation Tobago program, almost since its inception in 2004. Through his volunteer work with the Travel Foundation, a British-based charity, Mr. James has made an outstanding contribution to responsible tourism on the island by helping to establish several sustainable initiatives that have increased the benefits of tourism, not only to residents but to visitors as well. In 2005 he was awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) award by Her Majesty the Queen for his work on the environment, his community work in Tobago, and his British business interests. Mr. James has a BSc in Gas Engineering as well as an MBA in Marketing. He has lived in the region for many years and has been a resident in Tobago for 20 years.


Selwyn Lashley is acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs. He leads a multi-disciplinary team of professionals responsible for policy development and the overall management of the diverse and multi-faceted energy sector of Trinidad & Tobago. Mr. Lashley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of the West Indies, a Master of Science degree in Natural Gas Technology from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London. He is also a qualified attorney-at-law. He has been a member on government appointed teams responsible for the development and negotiation of numerous Production Sharing Contracts, Project Agreements, and Marketing and Sales Arrangements with international energy companies to facilitate the establishment of several natural gas-based facilities in Trinidad & Tobago. He currently chairs several national energy sector based committees and has represented the country at numerous local and international conferences. He is also a past chairman and Trinidad & Tobago's representative on the Executive Board of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). Mr. Lashley is a long standing member and former director of the Trinidad & Tobago Chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and brings with him over thirty years of diverse technical, commercial, and legal experience in all aspects of the energy sector of Trinidad & Tobago.


Racquel Moses is President of InvesTT. She began her career as a paralegal in Atlanta, Georgia, where she managed municipal bond issuances exceeding USD 500 million. Since then, Ms. Moses has held several executive-level positions at large multinational organizations. including Regional Director of JP Morgan Chase (Atlanta); Regional Vice President of Cable & Wireless (Jamaica); and Vice President of Fujitsu (Jamaica). Under her stewardship, Fujitsu's Strategic Account business doubled the size of the Caribbean division. Ms. Moses was also the founder and Managing Director of iDaedle Consulting Limited which provided consultancy services to the C-suite. Clients included large multinational firms as well as foreign franchises. Ms. Moses is a graduate of Morris Brown College and the Georgia Institute of Technology. She currently serves on the board of Jamaica Education Television, a project aimed at improving the educational achievement of Caribbean children through the use of technology. She also serves as advisor on numerous other projects. She has been a Toastmaster Area Governor and pursues a healthy lifestyle through recreational and marathon running.


Wendell Mottley is Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation. Mr. Mottley holds economic degrees from Yale University in the United States and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and has had a distinguished career in finance. Mr. Mottley served as Minister of Finance of Trinidad and Tobago from 1991 to 1995 and was most recently based in New York as a Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse, a leading global investment banking firm, from which he retired in December 2011. The first Chief Executive Officer for the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Company, Mr. Mottley penned the historic document, Industrial Policy for Trinidad and Tobago 1959-2008, which focused on governance in an oil-rich state. Having made his mark as an athlete with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, a silver medal in the 400 metres, and a bronze medal in the 4x400 relay team in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Mr. Mottley went on to sterling achievements in local and international financial markets. Mr. Mottley brings his record of achievement to the Corporation as it seeks to meet the challenges of the changing regulatory and business environment.


Dr. Ramnarais Rikhiraj Permanand is the Executive Director of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI), and has a wide range of international business experience ranging from R&D, new business development, and change management. These were primarily developed during his twenty-year career with Unilever Plc. He has lived and worked in the UK, Kenya, Venezuela, and China, and has travelled the world extensively on various business assignments. Nine years ago, Dr. Permanand returned to his native Trinidad & Tobago and has since worked—first with the private sector and currently with the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development—seeking to identify new opportunities for sustainable socioeconomic growth. As the Executive Director of the EDB and CCI, Dr. Permanand is directly involved in: creating awareness of national innovation and entrepreneurship primarily through the idea to innovation (i2i) program, where participants are given the opportunity through a grant to develop their idea to proof of concept and potentially full commercialization; improving the Global Competitiveness Index Ranking of Trinidad & Tobago; and developing a strategy for competitiveness. He is responsible for: the development of five growth poles in the country as a form of decentralization and the development of the new socioeconomic spaces; and the socioeconomic diversification agenda away from oil and gas, through identification and development of suitable industry clusters.


Anand Ragbir was appointed Vice President Commercial of the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago in March 2012. In this role, Mr. Ragbir is accountable for the operationalization and commercial contractual obligations of all gas contracts between NGC and upstream and downstream players in Trinidad & Tobago. He is also accountable for the contractual management of all investments made by NGC along the gas value chain (including upstream, downstream, and LNG investments), as well as the international marketing of related LNG offtake. He also holds responsibility for all of NGC’s business development/mergers and acquisitions activities within Trinidad & Tobago and internationally. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Ragbir worked at bp Trinidad & Tobago for 10 years. He held numerous positions during this period, including Senior Advisor on Gas Sales Contracts and LNG Marketing/Trading, Finance Manager, Head of Finance for the Markets and Exploration Divisions, and finally Head of Finance for the Operations Function of the company. His extensive employment in the energy industry also included posts at PCS Nitrogen Trinidad & Tobago (ammonia) and at Atlas Methanol (methanol). Among the many positions Mr. Ragbir concurrently holds are: director on the Board of Directors of Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited (propane, butane, and NGL extraction and marketing); alternate director in Atlantic LNG Group of Companies (LNG production and marketing); director of Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline Company (a pipeline company scheduled to distribute natural gas to the Caribbean); director on TT NGL, a company incorporated to manage the floating of a portion of shares of PPGPL onto the local stock exchange; chairman of a state company (e TecK) responsible for the development and management of industrial parks for international and local companies seeking investment in T&T’s non-energy sector and management of shareholding of two major hotels in Trinidad & Tobago. Mr. Ragbir is a Chartered Management Accountant holding membership in the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA).


Jwala Rambarran is Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago. One and a half years into his term, he is proving there can be a human approach to the science of economics mixed with the art that is modern central banking. He has systematically started implementation of his vision for the Central Bank as the silent servant of the people in the pursuit of its economic and financial stability mandates. The mantra of Governor Rambarran since assuming office is that financial failures should not occur under his watch. He is vigorously expanding the Bank's regulatory perimeter especially regarding Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFs) and strengthening the Bank's capacity and approach to supervision. While on one hand Governor Rambarran is seeking to buttress financial stability at a macroprudential level, he is also taking a very grassroots approach to financial stability. He is actively reconfiguring the Bank's National Financial Literacy Programme in an effort to expand its financial inclusion reach to citizens. Governor Rambarran believes if people can properly weigh the risks and rewards of financial services, they are less likely to take chances with their money. He calls this approach grassroots financial stability policy, where access to information to the man on the street is just as important as legislation to protecting the financial system. The way the Bank communicates is another area in which Governor Rambarran has taken an active interest. He has introduced new communication channels aimed at expanding the reach and scope of the Bank's messages, such as the Monetary Policy Forum which provides an opportunity for small businessmen around the country to interact with the Governor as he gives them his latest economic assessment by means of the Monetary Policy Report. This is indicative of his approach of bringing the Bank closer to the people it serves. Governor Rambarran has gone beyond the predictable, expected functions and has turned to supporting the overall longevity of the economy by initiating the development of a five-year implementation plan for developing capital markets in Trinidad & Tobago.


Merlyn Rennie-Browne is Vice President (Ag) of the Energy Development Department at Trinidad & Tobago’s National Energy Corporation, which is responsible for the conceptualization and development of energy-based projects aimed at expanding the gas-based energy industry in Trinidad & Tobago. She is a chemical engineer with significant experience in the energy industry, particularly in the petrochemical and refining sectors. Prior to National Energy, Ms. Rennie-Browne was employed with the Petroleum Company of Trinidad & Tobago, where she held various positions in the fields of engineering, business development, and refinery economics. She holds an MBA from Andrews University, Michigan; a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Howard University, Washington, D.C.; and a diploma in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies. Ms. Rennie-Browne is a member of various professional associations, including the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), and has written many articles on the energy industry in Trinidad & Tobago, in particular the gas-based and downstream industries. Ms. Rennie-Browne has also participated in several energy programs both in Trinidad and internationally.


Christopher Sabatini is the senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and founder and editor-in-chief of the hemispheric policy magazine Americas Quarterly (AQ). Dr. Sabatini chairs the AS/COA Rule of Law working group, which published a report on rule of law in the hemisphere entitled Rule of Law, Economic Growth and Prosperity (also available in Spanish). He also chairs the AS/COA Cuba Working Group. In 2007, Dr. Sabatini launched AQ and has since maintained a regular blog on policy in the Americas on the magazine’s website ( From 1997 to 2005, Dr. Sabatini was the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy. From 1995 to 1997 he was a Diplomacy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, working at the U.S. Agency for International Development's Center for Democracy and Governance. He has served as an advisor to the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He has published numerous articles on Latin America, democratization, political parties, and the effectiveness of international programs to support democratic development. His work includes an article in the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs titled “Rethinking Latin America”, and an article on about regional diplomacy titled “The Land of Too Many Summits.” Dr. Sabatini regularly provides interviews for The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, PBS's World Focus, The Lehrer News Hour, NPR, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, and CNN en Español, and is a regular contributor to CNN-GPS and to NTN24's TV news program Efecto Naim. He has a Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia and is an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University.


Lakshmi Singh is a newscaster with NPR. National Public Radio has grown beyond "radio" to captivate audiences on multiple platforms. But, it remains one of the last bastions of uncompromising journalism, integrity, eloquent story-telling, and time… time to tell the story right. Ms. Singh knew long ago there would be few places that would give her the journalistic freedom NPR offered. The reporter-turned-anchor joined NPR's award-winning Newscast Unit in 2000 and never looked back. She has since become a familiar voice to millions. Ms. Singh's experience extends beyond the studio booth to groundbreaking domestic and international field reporting that's taken her from rural communities in Washington state to speak with women who've survived domestic abuse, to remote corners of Haiti where women living with HIV decided to come out of the shadows--and risk being ostracized--to educate others about the disease. Yet her legacy, Ms. Singh explains, will not be in the stories or recognition of her work, but in the young journalists whom she has mentored during the last 15 years to"choose the right path" to a good story, not the easy one. Ms. Singh's career spans 25 years, which began with WAER in Syracuse and later extended to NPR member stations KPBX in Spokane, "WMFE in Orlando," and WAMU in Washington, bringing to the air waves an authentic voice and a strong connection with listeners as a news program host, reporter, or anchor. She has also contributed to PRI, Gannett News Service, Voice of America, the audio documentary program Soundprint, and the public radio magazine show Latino USA. Ms. Singh is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she has been recognized for her contributions to the industry by one of the nation's premier communications institutions, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She was recently honored by the national organization Women of Color in Communications--or "Colorcomm"--for her contributions to journalism, advocacy for diversity in broadcasting, and years of mentorship to beginning and mid-career journalists. In the coming months, Ms. Singh will be inducted into WAER's Hall of Fame. It is an honor bestowed by her peers for her steadfast commitment to holding herself, and others, to the highest ethical standards, in the service of the public.


Franco Siu Chong, businessman, has served as Chairman of the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre since March 2011, during a period of refocusing and renewal of the mandate of the organization. He is a vibrant, self-motivated entrepreneur with vision and foresight, evidenced by his ownership of a very successful chain of department stores with branches established in both Trinidad and the sister isle, Tobago, as well as businesses in the telecommunications, "green" air conditioning, and insurance sectors. His passionate involvement in community activities extends to the establishment of Dragon Boat racing in Trinidad & Tobago, establishment of the Chinese Steel Orchestra, sponsorship of Silver Stars steel orchestra from 2002 to 2007, and active involvement in a number of other endeavors, including the uplift of downtown Port of Spain. Educated in Canada, he holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto.



Senator Dr. the Honorable Bhoendradatt Tewarie is Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development. He has served Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean region in areas of public policy, public and private sector governance, and education. He was the first Chairman of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation in T&T and is a former Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. As a Member of Parliament he held the portfolio of Minister of Industry, Enterprise and Tourism, and was Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives from 1986 to 1991. He assumed his current position in May 2011. Minister Tewarie has crossed disciplinary barriers in his writing with books on “Higher Education Governance in the Twenty First Century University” (with Dennis Gayle, A. Quinton White & Eric Ashe, 2003). In 2007 he published “Trade, Investment, and Development in the Contemporary Caribbean” with Dr. Roger Hosein and “V.S. Naipaul Revisited: Ethnicity, Marginality and the Triumph of Individual Will” (Ian Randle Publishing). In 2010 he led a worldwide internet-based policy discussion on “Designing Sustainable Funding Systems for Tertiary Education for Small States.” Following discussions and revision, UNESCO published the brief as a formal UNESCO policy position on the subject. In another book published by UNESCO, Dr. Tewarie contributed chapters on the regional tertiary system and on funding tertiary education systems in small states. This was awarded first place in the Best Book Award from the Higher Education Special Interest Group of the U.S.-based Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in 2013.


Harold Trinkunas is the Charles W. Robinson Chair and senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on Latin American politics, particularly on issues related to foreign policy, governance, and security. He is currently studying Brazil's emergence as a major power, and Latin American contributions to global governance on issues including energy policy, drug policy reform, and internet governance. Dr. Trinkunas has also written on terrorism financing, borders, and ungoverned spaces. Recent publications include: Brazil's Rise: Seeking Influence on Global Governance; Changing Energy Dynamics in the Western Hemisphere: Impacts on Central America and the Caribbean; Reordering Regional Security in Latin America (Journal of International Affairs 66.2); Latin America's Growing Security Gap with David Pion-Berlin (Journal of Democracy 22.1); Civilian Praetorianism and Military Shirking during Constitutional Crises in Latin America with David Pion-Berlin, (Comparative Politics 42.4); and Attention Deficits: Why Politicians and Scholars Ignore Defense Policy in Latin America with David Pion-Berlin (Latin American Research Review 42.3). He authored Crafting Civilian Control of the Military in Venezuela (University of North Carolina Press, 2005), and co-edited and contributed to Terrorism Financing and State Responses (Stanford University Press, 2007), Global Politics of Defense Reform (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), and Ungoverned Spaces (Stanford University Press). Dr. Trinkunas previously served as an associate professor and chair of the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He has taught around the world on issues related to security and defense as part of the faculty of the Center for Civil-Military Relations at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has been a visiting professor at the Center of International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and at the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of California San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 1999, and a B.A. and a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He was born in Maracaibo and raised in Caracas, Venezuela.

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