Keynote speakers

The Honourable Mrs. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson

Conference organizers are happy to announce the first of four keynote speakers: the Honourable Mrs. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands. Bahamian-born Cartwright Robinson, who is an attorney at law, assumed office as the first female premier of the British Overseas Territory, on 20 December, 2016.

USM’s Dean of Academics, Mrs. Genève Phillip-Durham described the Premier’s addition to the slate of keynote speakers as “symbolic and consistent with the aim of the conference, to highlight not only small island territories that are independent but to also bring to the forefront, the dynamics and jurisdictional capacity of non-independent small island territories.”

Dr. Peter Clegg

Dr. Peter Clegg is the second of the international keynote speakers to be announced. Dr. Clegg is one of the most eminent scholars in the fields of governance and development of non-independent territories and small states in the international system, with a particular focus on the Caribbean.

His work spans disciplines like political science, economics, development studies and international relations. He (co-)authored books such as “The non-independent territories of the Caribbean and Pacific: Continuity or change?” and “Colonial trajectories in the Caribbean: The three Guianas”, as well as dozens of articles in academic journals.

Notably, he is the co-editor of one of the very few comparative studies into the different governance systems of the Dutch, U.S., British and French dependencies in the Caribbean: “Governance in the non-independent Caribbean: challenges and opportunities in the 21st century”. Currently, Peter Clegg is an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton, as well as Head of Department of Health and Social Sciences at that institution.

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino

The third speaker to be announced is Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, a world-renowned scholar and researcher who has been known to dedicate considerable efforts and energies to the growing field of island studies and research undertakings, which seek to contribute to a greater appreciation for different categories of small island territories.

Baldacchino is currently a Professor of Sociology and Pro Rector for International Development at the University of Malta and is also the Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Along with Dr. Jim Randall, co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, the upcoming Conference was the brainchild of the duo, who were keen on having the conference executed on a SNIJ. The uniqueness of the bi-national island of St. Maarten was considered to be important and significant in drawing attention to the myriad issues that are at the forefront of debates on non-independent island jurisdictions.

Professor Baldacchino is the sole author or lead co-author of 22 books and monographs and sole editor or lead co-editor of 23 other publications. He is also co-author of over 120 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. One of his most recent publications, is a book chapter co-authored with Arjen Alberts, co-chair of the local organizing committee for the conference. The book chapter, which examines the cases of Aruba, St. Maarten and the US Virgin Islands, is entitled: Resilience and Tourism in Islands: Insights from the Caribbean.