Future leaders will engage in meaningful conversation with President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Hyginus Leon, at a forum organized by the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College during an official visit to his homeland, St. Lucia. Future Leaders Youth Forum – A Conversation with Dr. Hyginus Leon, a one-hour round table discussion will be hosted by the College on Friday August 27, 2021 from 11 a.m.
A panel of alumni of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College will engage on key topics of emerging priority areas of global and regional significance with the second St. Lucian to head the CDB after founding President, Sir Arthur Lewis. The event will be streamed live via the College’s and CDB’s online platforms with a live audience of students, staff and alumni participating via Zoom meetings. The panelists include Rhyesa Joseph, Merphilus James, Tianah Foster and Yenver Caesar, all outstanding students during their time at the College who have bright futures in their respective fields. A full bio on the panelists can be found on the College’s website (link)
Following the panel discussion, Dr. Leon will be guided on a tour of the campus, led by Dean of Academics, Dr. Winston Phulgence. There will be stops at the newly established Derek Walcott Library and Innovation Hub; and Sir Arthur’s Grave Site.
The public is invited to join the conversation live on the College’s online platforms.
Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon is the sixth President of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the regional development finance institution based in Barbados. He was elected at a Special Meeting of the CDB Board of Governors held on January 19, 2021 for a five-year term, and assumed office on May 4, 2021.
Dr. Leon has over 30 years of experience in economic development and has directed macroeconomic and financial policy support to government authorities in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Caribbean. He worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for more than 24 years, serving as Mission Chief for Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, The Bahamas, and the Gulf States of Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates, as well as IMF’s Senior Resident Representative in Jamaica and Nigeria.
Prior to his engagement with the IMF, Dr. Leon was an Associate Professor at State University of New York at Old Westbury in the United States. He has also served as Director of Research at the Central Bank of Barbados and Country Economist at CDB.
Dr. Leon holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Economics from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom (UK) and a Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc.) in Economics from the University of London also in the U.K.
Rhyesa Joseph is a St. Lucian citizen who believes in and celebrates Caribbean indigenous practices. She is an alumna of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, where she pursued A Levels in Sociology, Spanish and History, and received awards for Sociology, Spanish and Highest Academic Achievement.
Ms. Joseph holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with International Relations, and a Master of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus. She was the valedictorian for the 2017 graduating class.
During her undergraduate and postgraduate years her academic pursuits were married with participation in several student organizations such as the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Association for Persons with Disabilities (UWICAPD), the Faculty of Social Sciences Committee, the Catholic Students’ Movement, the St. Lucian Students’ Association at Cave Hill (LUSAC) and the Cave Hill Association of Postgraduate Students (CHAPS).
Ms. Joseph was a writer for the column, ‘Millennial Voices’ in the Barbados Today and a featured interviewer for UWItv receiving the inaugural UWItv Student Ambassador Award in 2017. She has also tutored Introduction to Caribbean Politics at the UWI, Cave Hill campus. Similarly, Ms. Joseph’s expertise includes a two-year stint at the Government Information Service (GIS) where she gained proficiencies in Kwéyòl news, radio broadcasting and print media.
Presently, Ms. Joseph is a board member at the Monsignor Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre, a member of the Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee, a teacher in the areas of Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies, and the principal consultant at ‘From Classroom to Community’ a political science consultancy she founded in 2020 and currently operates.
Tianah Foster is an attorney and alumna of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, having graduated in 2017.
She was the Valedictorian of her graduating class and was recognised as the top performing student in the subjects of Economics and Spanish. She went on to pursue an LLB in Law at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.
During her tenure at University, Tianah received the Dean’s Commendation for exceptional academic performance, having achieved grades within the top 10% of her cohort in individual subject areas. Tianah then completed the Bar Professional Training Course with The University of Law, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales on the 22nd July 2021.
She will be called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in St. Lucia in early September, after which she will begin practicing law in St. Lucia.
Yenver Caezar is a former President of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College – Division of Arts, Science and General Studies (DASGS) Students’ Council.
At the University of the West Indies in Saint Augustine, Trinidad, he was able to marry his strong academic acumen with social and economic activism to graduate as the University of the West Indies’ Valedictorian for the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2017.
On that occasion, he graduated with a B.Sc International Relations (Special) Public Sector Management (Minor) with First Class Honours. He then enrolled in an M.Sc Tourism Development and Management with the same institution, graduating with Distinction in 2020, completing his dissertation while employed full time as a Foreign Service Officer with Saint Lucia’s Ministry of External Affairs.
Yenver is the recipient of a 2021 Chevening Scholarship and will be pursuing an M.Sc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He intends to embark upon a career in economic diplomacy for Saint Lucia upon completion of his studies.
Merphilus James has been the President of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in Saint Lucia from January 2015. He is also the current President of Disabled People’s International North American and The Caribbean Inc. (DPI NAC) headquartered in Antigua.
As a person with physical impairment, Merphilus has used a left prosthetic leg from the age of four. Having literally walked the path of disability, James is passionate about the advancement of persons with disabilities through education, social justice, empowerment and harnessing their innate talents for personal and national economic development.
In addition to Disability Advocacy, Merphilus is involved in youth development as a full-time employee with The National Skills Development Centre. Merphilus James was enrolled in the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies and graduated Student of the Year/ Valedictorian from the SALCC in 2005, receiving the subject prize in General Paper.