H.E. Dr. Marion Vernese Williams, GCM, PhD, FCIB, CMA
Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations
Dr. Marion Williams is a Barbadian economist, banker, accountant and diplomat. She served as Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados from 1999 to 2009. She has worked in the area of economics and finance for most of her working life.
Early life and education
Williams was born Marion Mottley, the daughter of two Barbadian teachers, Rudolph and Cledlene Mottley. She was educated at St George’s Primary School, St Michael’s School, and from the age of 12 at Queen's College. She earned a degree in Economics in 1968 from the University of the West Indies, and later a Master's in Economics as the first postgraduate in the field at the university's Cave Hill campus.
In 1995 she earned her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Surrey, with a thesis on prudential regulation and economic liberalisation. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers (FCIB) of the UK, and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
Dr. Williams was the first President and a founding member of the Barbados Institute of Banking and Finance. She is a former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies (CCMS).
She has represented the Bank at several meetings and conferences, both regionally and internationally; has published articles in local, regional and international journals.
Her previous work ranges from public finance to the development of the real sector. She has also conducted consultancies for the CARICOM Secretariat, USAID and the Commonwealth Secretariat and the ILO on areas ranging from financial management, capital market development and housing and mortgage market development and employment generation.
Before joining the Central Bank in 1973, Dr. Williams was Deputy Manager and then Manager of the Research Department of the East Caribbean Currency Authority. During her career at the Central Bank she worked in senior and management positions, including the positions of Adviser, Senior Adviser and Deputy Governor. She has been an active member of several advisory committees, both within and outside of the Bank.
During her tenure leading monetary policy of Barbados, then-Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson credited the team led by Williams as helping the Barbadian economy emerge relatively unaffected by the financial crises affecting other parts of the globe.
Upon her retirement in 2009, Thompson announced that he had appointed her as the Barbadian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva. Williams assumed the post on 1 February 2010, and presented her credentials to the UN Office Secretary-General, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, four days later.
She is the author of three books “Liberalising a Regulated Banking System: The Caribbean Case”, published by Avebury, “Managing Public Finances in a Small Developing Economy – The Case of Barbados”, published by Praeger, and “Strategic Repositioning: A Caribbean Perspective on Economic Policy Making”, published by the Central Bank of Barbados.
Honours and awards
In 2006 Dr. Williams was the recipient of the Award of Honorary Fellow of the Caribbean Association of Banking and Financial Institutes (CABFI). She received a national honour of Gold Crown of Merit by the Government of Barbados in 2006.
She is married to Clyde Williams; they have two children.