They are Corinne Baptiste-McKnight, James Armstrong, Prof Harold Ramkissoon and Dr Lennox St Bernard.
The Office of the President has also name the four new replacements; Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir, one of the country’s leading economists; Hugh Russell Ian Roach, an attorney with experience in civil, criminal, public, labour and military law; Anthony Vieira, practicing attorney-at-law in civil, industrial, family and criminal law; and energy expert David Small.
The President’s move is considered unprecedented, as past Presidents have usually waited for the term House to end before new Senators were appointed.
New Independent Senators
Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir is an economist with a wealth of experience as an educator and adviser to public and private financial institutions. He was educated at The University of the West Indies, where he earned a BSc, and at McGill University, where he earned an MA and PhD in economics. He has taught at UWI and McGill University. He is a superviser of theses for both MSc and PhD candidates. He has worked with Ernst & Young as a financial adviser and has been widely published both locally and internationally.
His work in the public sector has seen him advising the All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers’ Trade Union and the Minister of Public Utilities on Public Utility Regulation and Reform. He has also been a member of the Governor of the Central Bank’s panel of advisers on monetary policy, and continues to work as a liaison officer with international rating agencies Moody’s and Standard and Poors on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. His expertise has also not been confined to Trinidad and Tobago, as he has worked in Barbados, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, and Montserrat in areas of structural economic adjustment programmes and government fiscal and monetary policy.
In Trinidad and Tobago, he has been the chairman of the Public Utilities Commission and the tribunal established to determine electricity rates for industrial customers. He has served on the committee established to determine the true and exact state of the public finances, and the committee established to develop the CAPE syllabus in economics for the Caribbean. He has also been an independent senator and an independent director of the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.
Anthony D Vieira has been a practising lawyer since 1983 in civil, industrial, family and criminal law. He is a graduate of the UWI Faculty of Law, the Hugh Wooding Law School, the Institute of International Relations and is a certified advanced commercial mediator. In the British Virgin Islands, he worked as senior crown counsel in the attorney general’s chambers, where he prosecuted serious and complex criminal offences and worked closely with the Inspector of Banks and Trust Companies in the regulation of off-shore financial services.
He has served on numerous committees and held various appointments, including legal consultant to the Minister of Education; member of the committee responsible for the review and drafting of the Telecommunications Bill 2000; and member of the Code of Ethics Grievance Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Vieira is counsel to many performing artistes and is legal counsel to the National Carnival Bands Association. He has also worked extensively in the field of intellectual property protection, beginning as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee established to review the intellectual property laws of Trinidad and Tobago in 1993, and continuing up to 2010 when he served as a member of the committee constituted by the Minister of Legal Affairs to make recommendations for the protection, commercialisation and intellectual property management for the sports industry. He was a member of the ministerial committee appointed to implement the draft National Intellectual Property Policy. Currently he is the representative of the Law Association on the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago and is attached to the law firm of Mair and Company.
Ian Roach has had a 22-year career as a lawyer and lobbyist, both locally and internationally. He gained his BA in history and law, and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, and went on to graduate from the Hugh Wooding Law School. Within Trinidad and Tobago, Roach has had considerable experience in civil, criminal, public, labour and, more specifically, military law, having presided over several courts-martial as a judge advocate on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.
Internationally, he has worked in various legal chambers in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Republic of South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast. Mr Roach has functioned as an adviser to government officials on the African continent on a variety of issues, including bi-lateral trade agreements, joint ventures, international law and relations and cross-border criminal proceedings.
He has also worked in the International Criminal Court, where he advised the chief prosecutor on financial and commercial transactions across the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. He was the Honorary Consul of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to South Africa during the presidency of Nelson Mandela and later, that of Thabo Mbeki.
David Small has over 23 years of experience in several spheres focusing on the energy industry, both in Trinidad and Tobago and overseas. He was educated both at The University of the West Indies and in the United Kingdom, where he attended the College of Petroleum Studies in Oxford and Middlesex University, London, earning a post-graduate diploma in natural gas economics and MBA degree, respectively.
In his varied career, Small has served on the boards of directors of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago and Phoenix Park Gas Processors as a non-executive member. He has also worked in the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs as the senior energy adviser and the Director of the Policy and Performance Management Division which entailed his representation of the Government’s interests at major global energy meetings and the management of daily interactions with international energy organisations and multilateral organisations, such as the Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. He has presented papers at international natural gas conferences and fora.
Apart from his activities in the public sector, Small has considerable experience in private enterprise as the senior energy adviser for the AGA Group LLC, where he led in providing energy-centric strategic advisory and business development services to clients. He also provides independent professional consulting services to various clients in the oil and energy sector on a wide range of issues, including negotiating strategies and management of business relations.