The first female to receive ‘silk’ (become queen’s counsel) in The Bahamas, former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Allyson Maynard-Gibson, QC; and renowned businessman and former University of The Bahamas (UB) trustee, Peter Whitehead, were recently elected chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the UB Board of Trustees at a board meeting held on January 12, 2022.
Maynard-Gibson, an advocate for people-centered justice, diversity, and the rights of women and children, acknowledges that her experiences and contributions to the national development of The Bahamas will bode well in her new role.
“In this new role, a part of my commitment is to elevate the nation’s tertiary institution as a hallmark of excellence. This will be accomplished by offering my support to faculty and staff who choose to engage in research that contributes towards the national development of The Bahamas for sustainable and positive change,” said Maynard-Gibson.
“As more young people seek to thrive in a modern Bahamas, it remains important for the board to be a catalyst for faculty, staff, and student success that cultivates and inspires more extraordinary Bahamians.”
Legislated under the University of The Bahamas Act, 2016, the board of trustees serves as the governing body of UB and is responsible for the general direction and control over the conduct of the affairs of the university. The board currently consists of 14 trustees.
In addition to the chair and vice-chair, the other trustees include President of UB Dr. Rodney D. Smith, who serves in an ex-officio capacity; President of the UB Alumni Association, Marketing Manager, Jazmine Romer-Rolle; Student Trustee Mackenson Charles (current president of the Student Government Association); Dr. Gadville McDonald, accounting professional; Dr. Keith Russell, pastor and educator; Attorney-at-Law Alexandra Hall; Professor Bridget Hogg; Melvert Clarke, systems analyst, UB; Dr. Barry Rassin, healthcare professional; Brian Jones, finance/investor; Kristie Powell, information technology; D’Arcy Rahming, businessman/finance; Henry St. George, businessman; and Philip Stubbs, accountant.
During both of her stints as attorney general and minister of legal affairs, great strides were made in access to justice, especially through the use of technology, focus on people, data-based decision making and simplification of systems to enable people’s access to justice.
In 2018, she served as a member of the first-ever People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa. Also, recognizing that the voice of Small Island Developing States should be heard in fora affecting and shaping the “new world”, she actively engaged in the processes leading to The Bahamas’ election to the Board of the International Telecommunications Union.
She was a member of the task force that, in 2019, produced, the “Justice for All” report. Also, in 2019, she took a sabbatical at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. In 2020, her time as a visiting scholar at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health was interrupted by COVID-19. However, as a member of the task force, she co-authored three briefings on COVID-19 and its fallout: Justice for All and the Public Health Emergency; Justice for All and the Economic Crisis and Justice for All and the Social Contract in Peril. Emerging from her sabbatical, she has commenced work with several NGOs to broaden concepts of justice to include people-centered justice, social justice and access to justice.
Maynard-Gibson has served for 15 years in The Bahamas Parliament and served 10 of those years as a Cabinet minister. In addition to her appointment at UB, she currently serves as a member of the Justice Leadership Group, is a member of the Barry University Board of Trustees, the task force on justice and as assistant director of the International Trends and Services Facet of The Links, Incorporated. She is a frequent speaker and writer in the international arena on people-centered justice and good governance. Maynard-Gibson is married to Maxwell Gibson, a businessman. They have enthusiastically embraced their role as grandparents.
Whitehead is founder and president of Gunite Pools of Nassau, Osprey Construction Co. Ltd, Club One Fitness Center and Foster Hill Development in Georgetown, Exuma. He has served on several boards including the Catholic Dioceses which includes all schools in The Bahamas; as deputy chairman of Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute and as a former UB trustee. He has served as chairman on various international boards including the Young Presidents Organization and World Presidents International in Salzburg, Austria. Additionally, he is chairman of all events for World President International based in Washington, D.C. Whitehead is fluent in German and English and involved in several investments throughout New Providence and the Family Islands. He is an avid musician, tennis player, golfer and fisherman. He is married to Analia (Maquirrian) and has four children and four grandchildren.
UB’s Board of Trustees will approve the strategic direction of UB; strategic policy matters; annual business plans, budgets and annual audited accounts; and review and monitor the management of the university and its performance.
Trustees play an integral role by providing oversight and input regarding the university’s large-scale programmatic goals and its financial and physical resources. They provide leadership in fundraising to sustain the university’s progress and serve as advocates for the university locally, nationally and internationally.