Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s most senior diplomat. He was a member of the diplomatic service from its inception in November 1981, and he has served as High Commissioner or Ambassador in major capitals, including London, Paris, Bonn, Brussels, Washington and Ottawa.
His first posting was at the United Nations where he served as Minister-Counsellor from 1981, before taking up the assignment as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Since 2015, he has been Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States and the Organization of American States and non-resident High Commissioner to Canada.
Before taking up his most recent diplomatic posting, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London in the UK and a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He was also an international business consultant and writer.
Sir Ronald has had careers as a diplomat, businessman and academic and brings a range of skills, honed in these separate areas to his work as negotiator, diplomatist, facilitator and mediator and market strategist in business and politics.
From January to April 2016, he served as President of the Permanent Council of the 34-member Organization of American States where he initiated action to recover the Organization from severe financial difficulties. He also successfully led a Special Mission to Haiti that helped to formulate a solution to a constitutional and political impasse that avoided civil strife and allowed the country to enter a peaceful phase, preparing for Presidential elections.
At the invitation of former US President Jimmy Carter, he became a member of “The Friends of the Democratic Charter” in October 2011. In addition to President Carter, the “Friends” include the Rt Hon Joe Clarke, former Head of Government of Canada, and several other heads of government, foreign ministers and a few senior officials from nations of the Western Hemisphere.
In July 2010 Sir Ronald was appointed as one of 10 members of an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) which was requested by Commonwealth Heads of Government to recommend options for reform that will sharpen the impact of the 53-nation Commonwealth, strengthen its networks and raise its profile. The report of the Group, to which Sanders was also Rapporteur, was submitted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in 2011 where it dominated the Conference.
He is also a member of International Advisory Board of the Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs which is a scholarly journal published six times a year. Founded in 1910, The Round Table is Britain’s oldest international affairs journal, providing analysis and commentary on all aspects of international affairs.
In two stints in the private sector (1984-1995 and 2004-2015), he served on the board of directors of financial institutions, telecom companies, media companies and a sustainable forestry company in the US, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Barbados, Guyana, and the US Virgin Islands.
In the public sector he has served as the elected Chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force against drug trafficking and money laundering (2003-2004). He also served on the Board of the International Programme for the Development of Communication at UNESCO (1983-1985) and as an elected member of the Executive Board of UNESCO (1985-1987).
He served on numerous committees, task forces and advisory boards to formulate and implement policy for the Caribbean and the Commonwealth. He also has experience of dealing with regulatory bodies such as the FCC in the US, and he has led a successful complaint to an arbitration panel of the World Trade Organization. He has negotiated Tax Information Exchange Agreements and Double Taxation Agreements with Britain, the US and Australia and loan and investment agreements with Britain and China.
Sir Ronald is the recipient of several honours, including Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG); Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN), member of the Order of Australia (AM). He was also honoured by the University of the West Indies with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for his championship of Caribbean causes as a diplomat, writer and advocate.
He holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Sussex, and he is the author of several publications on small states in the international political economy including “Crumbled Small: The Commonwealth Caribbean in World Politics” (London, 2005). He writes a weekly commentary in leading newspapers throughout the Caribbean and on several internet news websites.