Dr. Maria Therese Gomes Appointed Chairman Of The Police Service Commission

His Excellency, the President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, ORTT, SC, appointed Dr Maria Therese Gomes as member and Chairman of the Police Service Commission on January 29, 2015.

Dr Gomes replaces former Chairman Professor Ramesh Deosaran ORTT, who resigned on September 1, 2014.  The President expressed his gratitude and the gratitude of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to Professor Deosaran ORTT for the years he dedicated in service to this country.

At the time of her appointment, President Carmona stated that for far too long there was a great gender imbalance on many of the boards in the country while it appears that women continue outstrip men in terms of academia, intellect and experience.  For these reasons he has taken the initiative to appoint suitably qualified women, to the position of chairman on some of the boards.  This was the philosophy for the appointment of Dr Majorie Thorpe to chair the Police Service Commission and Mrs Lynette Seberan-Suite to chair the Equal Opportunities Commission.

This appointment of Dr Gomes is one of historical importance, since it is the first time in this Republic that a woman will be the Chairwoman, not Chairman, Chairwoman of the Police Service Commission.

His Excellency further stated that during his tenure at the United Nationals Council in the Hague, as Chairman of the Employment Committee, due to gender imbalance, the recruiting policy mandated that if an application for a vacancy from two (2) persons of equal merit, a man and a woman, the job should be given to the woman.  This has now become international standard and the President endorses this approach to promote a philosophy of inclusivity and empowerment to women in our society.

Dr Maria Therese Gomes has had an extensive social work background since she graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine with a BSc in Social Work (Honours) in 1995.  In that same year she went on to pursue her MSc in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, United Kingdom.  In 2004 Dr Gomes graduated Summa Cum Laude from Howard University, Washington DC in with a Masters in Social Work, and completed her Doctorate in Social Work in 2010, from the same distinguished institution.

Over her career she has obtained certification in Distance Learning, Blackboard Certification and International Studies from Howard University, Washington DC, and also gained certification in Drama and Theatre Education as well as Gender Studies (Distinction) from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and Cave Hill respectively.

Having numerous Honours, Awards and Grants accredited to her, inclusive of a grant from the Georgetown-Howard Universities Centre for Clinical and Translational Science Community Engagement and Research Partnership Stimulation Mini Grant in 2012, and the US/India-Howard-Jadavpur Research Initiative Award from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India in 2007, Dr. Gomes has amassed a wealth of research experience, and has knowledge and experience with SPSS and Atlas ti statistical programs, Participatory Action Research, Focus Groups, Asset Mapping and Program Evaluation.

As a Research Assistant between 2000 and 2007, she conducted research for Howard University and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago. She also has been published numerous times, including but not limited to her publication in 2012 entitled Reframing Re-entry: Considerations for Immigrant Ex-offenders Facing Deportation.

Dr. Gomes has served as Lead Facilitator, Campus wide Educational Workshop on Human Trafficking at Howard University and has done presentations on numerous topics including Embracing Social Justice and Equality Locally and Globally: Immigration Reform and Human Trafficking at the Howard University Faculty Senate Retreat in 2013, Strangers in the homeland: Closer examination of the reintegration of foreign offenders at the American Corrections Association, 141st Congress, Kissimmee, Florida in 2011, and Addressing Involuntary Return Migration through Multi-Modal Community Interventions at the 8th Biennial Conference of Caribbean and International Social Work Educators, Trinidad and Tobago in 2007.

His Excellency also expressed his gratitude to the members of Dr Gomes’ family who were present to witness the ceremony and for their unstinting support given to her for this commendable commitment to public service.

Dr Gomes’s swearing in ceremony was also witnessed by the following members of the Police Service Commission, Mr Addison Khan, Mr Martin George, Mrs Roamar Achat-Saney, Dr James Amstrong and the Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation Mr Alfred Gray.

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