SG Corner

New Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

Ms. Bernadette Lewis was appointed as the new Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation in August 2020. This is a historic appointment as she is the first female Secretary-general in the 120-year history of the CTO.

This is indeed a major accomplishment that should encourage women everywhere to strive for the mastery of whatever profession they may choose and especially in science and technology. Breaking the glass ceiling is not new to Ms. Lewis; she was also the first female Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and she is credited for making the CTU the foremost information and communication technology (ICT) inter-governmental institution in the Caribbean. A national of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Lewis brings to the CTO a wealth of experience in public and private sectors and is knowledgeable in national and regional ICT issues.

The 4th Industrial Revolution, the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated financial contagion, is changing the world irrevocably, ushering us into an environment of unprecedented uncertainty. For the CTO, surviving, indeed thriving in this environment will necessitate innovative leadership, a deep understanding of ICT and faith and courage to deviate from the beaten paths of 20th Century thinking to build a 21st century organisation that is relevant and serves its members with integrity and excellence. Ms. Lewis brings these qualities to the CTO.

We would like to thank Ms. Gisa Fautai Purcell, the ICT Director for keeping the CTO ship sailing during the search and recruitment process for the new Secretary-General. We say farewell to her as she moves on to new endeavours.

As Chair, I thank the Council and the Executive Committee for their support. I also wish to convey my appreciation to the Secretariat for their commitment to shaping an organisation that has become a key player in the global ICT space.

In welcoming Ms. Lewis, we extend our best wishes to her for a successful journey with the CTO.

Chair, CTO
Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fijian Attorney-General and the Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications, Republic of Fiji