Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2022. 8:52 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, Rossana Briceno features outstanding Belizean women making a difference in Belize every week.
Today’s spotlight is on Speaker of the House of Representatives, Valerie Woods.
Woods joined a rather short list of women that has led the Lower House of our National Assembly.
Woods holds a Master’s in Tourism Administration from George Washington University, Washington D.C., and a BSc in Business Administration from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.
Valerie is a firm believer in continued education and professional development.
She has completed several pieces of training through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Academy, McGill School of Continuing Studies, the Caribbean Institute in Gender and Development, and the International Council of Management Consulting Institute.
She was a former Director of Tourism for Belize, a former Executive Director of Belize’s national conservation trust fund, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), and the former Country Manager of Chukka (Belize), a tour operating company. She continues to selectively provide management training and consultancies.
A former Senator from 2016 to 2019, Woods was elected in December 2020 as the Speaker of the Belize House of Representatives.
She currently serves on the Board for Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and is the Chairperson of the Regional Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) for the Caribbean, Americas, and Atlantic Region, and is the Vice Person of the CWP Steering Committee. She recently facilitated the establishment of the first Women’s Parliamentary Caucus for Belize and has facilitated several panel discussions on gender representation and inclusion.
Woods is an advocate of human rights, gender representation, women in leadership, and LGBT rights and inclusion.
Woods continues to serve as a director on the board of the non-profit, non-government organization, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) to protect and conserve the Chiquibul Forest.
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