“Sylvanie Burton” the first female President of the Commonwealth of Dominica
The first indigenous president
Mrs. Sylvanie Burton is the first woman to hold the position of Commonwealth of Dominica President. For the first time, a woman has been elected to assume the presidency, making her the first woman of Kalinago descent to hold this position in Dominica. This news represents a significant achievement in Dominica’s politics, as the elections were held following a formal process during the fifth meeting of the eleventh parliamentary session on September 27, 2023. Burton took the constitutional oath on October 2, 2023.
Mrs. Sylvanie Burton expressed her appreciation for Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, saying, “I am very grateful to the honorable Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit and his government for nominating me for the position of Commonwealth of Dominica President, and to the Kalinago people and the entire Dominican community who embraced my nomination with warmth and great enthusiasm.”
Who is Sylvanie Burton?
Sylvanie Burton, born in the Caribbean region on the island of Dominica in 1956, is a politician and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Rural Modernization, and Kalinago Affairs, as well as the current President of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
What is Sylvanie Burton’s educational background?
She holds a master’s degree in Project Management and a bachelor’s degree in Rural Development. She studied at the following universities:
- St. Francis Xavier University in Canada in 1993.
- The University of Manchester in England in 1999.
- The International University of Cooperation from 2013 to 2014.
What positions and roles has Sylvanie Burton held?
- Secretary of the Kalinago Council from 1985 to 1992.
- Public service from 1992 to the present (Dominica government).
- From August 2007 to December 2009, worked as the Civil Society Resources Officer at the Dominica Social Investment Fund (DSIF) on secondment from the government.
- Development Assistant at the Ministry of Social Services in Dominica.
- Responsible for Kalinago Affairs at the Ministry of Social Services.
- Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Services from 2014 to 2016.
- Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2019.
- Regional Development Assistant (Ministry of Social Services).
- Regional Development Officer (Ministry of Social Services).
- Responsible for Kalinago Affairs.
- Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Social Services (2014 to 2016).
- Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016 to 2019).
Do you know who the last five Presidents of the Commonwealth of Dominica were?
The last five Presidents of the Commonwealth of Dominica were:
- Charles Savarin (2013-2023)
- Eliud Williams (2012-2013)
- Nicholas Liverpool (2003-2012)
- Vernon Shaw (1998-2003)
- Crispin Sorhaindo (1993-1998)
How does the appointment of the first female President in the Commonwealth of Dominica impact the CBI Program?
The Republic of Dominica actively works to promote gender equality and support the empowerment of women within its government. An example of this commitment is the appointment of Marie-Therese Johnson to a position within the CBI Unit (CIU). This appointment holds special significance as it coincides with the upcoming thirtieth anniversary of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program, which was launched in 1993.
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