Dame Sandra Mason
GCMG DA QC
|Governor-General of Barbados|
8 January 2018
|Prime Minister||Freundel Stuart|
|Preceded by||Philip Greaves (Acting)|
|Born||Sandra Prunella Mason
17 January 1949
Saint Philip, Barbados
|Alma mater||University of the West Indies|
Dame Sandra Mason, GCMG, DA, QC is the Governor-General of Barbados. She was a practising Attorney-at-Law who has served as a High Court judge in Saint Lucia and a Court of Appeal judge in Barbados. Dame Sandra Mason was the first woman admitted to the Bar in Barbados. She served as chair of the CARICOM commission to evaluate regional integration, was the first magistrate appointed as an Ambassador from Barbados, and was the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals. She was the first Bajan appointee to the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal and served briefly as the Governor General of Barbados. Dame Sandra Mason has been called one of the 10 most powerful women in Barbados. In 2017, she was appointed as the 8th Governor General of Barbados, with a term beginning on 8 January 2018. Simultaneously with her appointment, Mason was awarded the Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. On assumption of the office of Governor-General, Dame Sandra Mason, under the Order of the Dame of Saint Andrew, became the Chancellor and Principal Dame of Saint Andrew.
Sandra Prunella Mason was born on 17 January 1949 in Saint Philip, Barbados. After completion of her education, she began teaching at the Princess Margaret Secondary School in 1968. The following year, she went to work at Barclay’s Bank as a clerk. Mason enrolled in the University of the West Indies (UWI), earning her Bachelor of Laws. Mason was one of the first graduates of the Faculty of Law from UWI, Cave Hill, completing her education in 1973. She was admitted to the bar to begin her practice on 10 November, 1975, becoming the first woman member of the Barbados Bar Association.
Beginning in 1975, she worked in Trust Administration for Barclay’s and transferred to several different posts within the Barclay’s company until 1977. In 1978, Mason began working as the Magistrate of the Juvenile and Family Court and simultaneously tutoring in family law at UWI.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
She stopped tutoring in 1983 and continuing as magistrate. In 1988, Mason completed the Royal Institute of Public Administration in London’s course on Judicial Administration. She served on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child from its 1991 the inception until 1999, holding the vice chair from 1993 to 1995 and chair from 1997 to 1999.
Between 1991 and 1992 she served as chair and was one of the two women appointed to the 13-member CARICOM commission charged with evaluating regional integration. Mason left the family court in 1992 to serve as an ambassador to Venezuela and was the first woman magistrate from Barbados to serve in that position. Upon her return to Barbados in 1994 she was appointed as Chief Magistrate for Barbados and then in 1997 became the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
Fellowship with the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute in Halifax
In 2000 Mason completed studies on Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and then completed a Fellowship with the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2001, as well as a course in Advanced Dispute Resolution at UWI. She continued to serve as Registrar of the Supreme Court until 2005, when she was appointed as Queen’s Counsel to the Inner Bar of Barbados. In 2008, Mason was sworn in as an Appeals Judge becoming the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals. For three days in 2012, she became the acting Governor General and the following year was the first Barbadian appointed to membership in the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT). The Tribunal operates among members of the Commonwealth of Nations to resolve issues concerning contract disputes. With that appointment, Loop News named her one of the 10 most powerful women in Barbados.
In 2017, Mason was appointed as the 8th Governor General of Barbados, with a term beginning on 8 January 2018. Simultaneously with her appointment, Mason was awarded the Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
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