Secretary General Deoraj Ramnarine (left) meets with CTU ICT Ministers circa 1990.
Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson
Former Prime Minister and President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
It was the late visionary, Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, former Prime Minister and former President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago who proposed the establishment of a Telecommunications organisation to the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). He had recognised of the importance of telecommunications infrastructure to strengthening the process of regional integration.
CARICOM Heads of Government established Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) in April 1989, in Nassau, The Bahamas. The CTU was was given the mandate to address issues relating to the development of the Caribbean telecommunications sector. Mr. Chesterfield Thompson of Barbados was appointed as the interim Secretary General and he conducted the business of the organisation from Barbados.
The Treaty establishing the CTU as the inter-governmental Telecommunications Policy Instrument for the Caribbean entered into force on 16th July 1990. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago officially inaugurated the CTU at a ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Port of Spain on Thursday 19th July, 1990.
Mr. Deoraj Ramnarine
Secretary General 1990 – 1994
Mr. Deoraj Ramnarine was recruited as Secretary General on 1st January 1990, and a Secretariat was established in Trinidad and Tobago, which operated out of the Office of the Prime Minister in the Central Bank Tower, on Independence Square Port of Spain. The Secretariat was later relocated to 17 Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain.
Mr. Ramnarine established the administrative structure of the CTU and commenced the work of building a strong institution in earnest.
Mr. Roderick Sanatan
Secretary General 1994 -1999
In 1994, Mr. Roderick Sanatan, an employee of the CARICOM Secretariat was appointed to the position of Secretary General. His tenure came to an end in December 1999 and an interim Secretary General, Mr. Winston Ragbir held the position until a new Secretary General was appointed.
Mr. Laurent Justinian Coipel
Secretary General 2000 - 2002
Mr. Laurent Justinian Coipel was appointed in May 2000. He demitted office two years later on 11th October, 2002.
Ms. Bernadette Lewis
Secretary General 2003 - 2020
A CTU committee was then established to determine a process for selecting and recruiting a new Secretary General. Ms. Bernadette Lewis was recruited, the first woman to hold the position and her tenure as Secretary General commenced on 13th August, 2003.
The new Secretary General, embarked on a process to re-engineer the CTU and to make it relevant in a rapidly changing technology sector. Under her her leadership in 2004 the CTU increased the frequency of its statutory meetings, expanded the membership categories to include non-CARICOM States, private sector and civil society organisations and formally included information and communication technologies (ICT).
Mr. Rodney Taylor
New Secretary General 2021 - present
Mr. Rodney Taylor has worked most recently with the Barbados Ministry of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology (MIST) as the Chief Digital Technology Officer. In this position he was the technical lead on Barbados’ digital transformation, improving public sector service delivery through strategic use of innovation, science and SMART technology.
Mr. Taylor’s professional experience includes management of the Information Systems Unit in Barbados’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and its overseas missions. He also previously served as the Business Development and Operations Manager at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), where he worked with regional governments in the development of policies to govern information and communications technology (ICT), led the work to operationalise the CTU’s Caribbean Centre of Excellence to offer consultancy services to the Member States and also represented the region in many international ICT conferences.
Mr. Taylor is an advisor on Internet Governance and has published research on e-Commerce diffusion in small island developing states in the Journal of Information Systems for Developing Countries. He is a founding member and former Chairman of the Barbados Chapter of the Internet Society, an organisation whose aim is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.
Mr. Taylor holds a Masters in Management and Information Systems from the University of Manchester, UK and a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of the West Indies.