Chairwoman of the PSC
Dr. Maria Therese Gomes
PhD., MSW, MSc.
Behavioural Scientist, Sociologist and Social Work Educator
The Police Service Commission quietly made history on Thursday 29th January, 2015 when His Excellency President Anthony Carmona appointed Dr. Maria Therese Gomes, the first woman to serve as a member and Chairperson of the 58 year old Commission.
Dr. Gomes is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she earned her Doctorate and Masters Degree in Social Work. While pursuing undergraduate studies at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, Dr. Gomes developed an interest in social development and social policy. She recognised that without simultaneous growth in economic and human capital, the outcome is distorted development and a disenchanted population. Dr. Gomes then pursued studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and graduated with a Masters Degree in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries.
While abroad Dr. Gomes became acutely aware of the impact of migration on developing countries. Recognising that poverty, a lack of social and economic mobility resulted in a ‘brain drain’, she turned her attention to the benefits and possibilities of ‘return migration’. Dr. Gomes was awarded a scholarship by US/ India- Howard- Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India where she conducted research on the impact of the country’s return migration policies.
As a faculty member at Howard University, Dr. Gomes researched multifaceted issues related to trauma and displacement which include the psychosocial and mental health impact on individuals and families. Aspects of displacement on which she has published and presented include: Families fractured through deportation; Human Trafficking; Reintegration of foreign offenders; A gender sensitive approach to working with female offenders; The charged economic environment and its distressing impact on parents and children; and The impact of the 1996 (U.S.) Immigration Act on female immigrants deported to Trinidad and Tobago.
A former public servant with over twenty (20) years’ service Dr. Gomes brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position of Chair of the Police Service Commission. Dr. Gomes utilises a holistic and solution driven approach to social problems. She believes in social justice and the dignity and worth of every human being. Acknowledging that the Police Service Commission’s mandate has societal implications, Dr. Gomes will focus on the institutional strengthening and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission to serve the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago.
See Past Chairpersons of the Police Service Commission