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Former Saint Lucia Ambassador Receives Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award


Ambassador Sonia M. Johnny, Sr. Legal Advisor in the Office of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), received The United States President Joseph R. Biden Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday, September 29th at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Honored for her exceptional work over the years in addressing the development and foreign policy concerns of her native country of Saint Lucia, the prestigious award was given to her and other global leaders during the African and Caribbean International Leadership Awards Gala – held in collaboration with the 51st United States Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.

“It is quite an honor to be recognized along with so many great people who have accomplished so much,” Ambassador Johnny said. “I also think it is so important for people of this caliber to be brought together under one roof, to share experiences and learn from each other. This event is not simply a gala, but a learning and sharing process between people who have devoted their whole lives to serving.”

Ambassador Johnny made history when she became Saint Lucia’s first-ever female ambassador to the OAS and the United States in 1997, a role in which she served for a decade.

In 2007 she served as Chief of the Tourism Section within the Department of Trade, Tourism and Competitiveness at the OAS before leaving to become the Deputy Director of the Summits Secretariat.

There, she provided her expertise to the Department as it prepared for the first ever Summits of the Americas to be held in the Anglophone Caribbean in 2009 (Trinidad and Tobago).

Always one to shatter glass ceilings, Ambassador Johnny’s life is one littered with accomplishments. An alumnus of two of the world’s most prestigious universities; Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins school of Advanced International Studies, as well as the University of the West Indies from which she graduated with honors, her education and work ethic primed her for a long and successful career in foreign affairs and diplomacy.

 Known as “the ambassador who was open to all,” Ambassador Johnny has been responsible for helping a number of Saint Lucian students obtain scholarships, and get paid internships at hotels in Florida, as well as providing needed support to the Saint Lucian diaspora.

She was also the only ambassador to invite and accompany members of the United States Congressional Black Caucus to Saint Lucia for discussions with the Prime Minister regarding the country’s economic concerns – particularly the then challenges within the banana industry, Saint Lucia’s biggest industry at the time.

Ambassador Johnny was known to roam the corridors of Capitol Hill to discuss her country’s concerns and garner support for the Caribbean’s interests.

Her life has been marked by a dedication to the welfare and elevation of others. Not only Saint Lucians, but many other members of the Caribbean Diaspora can attest to this, as she remains a household name in the community where she has accepted leadership roles in every group with which she is affiliated.

“I have always believed in serving rather than being served, so I never wait for things to fall into my lap. Instead, I aggressively go out to pursue things and make things happen…not only for me, but also for others,” she said. “You see, when my glass breaks, I do not sit and mourn, but I STOOP and pick up the pieces, and using that experience, I help others in picking up their pieces.”

Ambassador Johnny is the recipient of three other awards: The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award, the Howard University Leadership Award, and the Women Empowered to Achieve the Impossible (Wetati) Award.

SOURCE: Intrigue Media Group

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  1. Wonderful accomplishment congratulations….the blessing is always in helping and serving others. No one gets anywhere by being selfish……

  2. Commendable achievement. All we need as student nurses at the Department of Nursing at SALCC is respect and empathy . Those attributes are not costly. Nevertheless, the management of that department is only a a financial quest . We need help. Please. Can the relevant authorities kindly address this grave matter at the department of nursing at SALCC at the soonest. Please, please, please, please. Women should never be subject to such disrespect and hurt.

  3. Commendable. That is the kind of representation and role models that our young women need right now. I see some women being appointed to some high level positions representing us and I shudder to think that that is all we have. I don’t have a problem with government appointing women in key positions, but when we see it’s women with no experience in the areas, huge gaps in their employment history, women who are appointed by virtue of who they cuddle with and those who are nothing but Facebook bullies, cantankerous, obnoxious and disrespectful we have to ask why should young people work so hard to achieve good grades when all it takes is so little. I appeal to the government to select better female models for our young people. Congratulations Madam

  4. @student nurse – you post on every forum no matter the topic????????? This really does not look good for the case which you are consistently trying to make. You need to address this with those who are in charge of the SALCC and if unsuccessful — than hopefully there is a governing board for the institution.

  5. Congratulations and Thank you for putting St Lucia on the map for such a prestigious award. I love this.. You see, when my glass breaks, I do not sit and mourn, but I STOOP and pick up the pieces, and using that experience, I help others in picking up their pieces.”

  6. @Student Nurse … I would like to suggest that you and/or your colleagues pen an OPED to all the media houses regarding your woes, trials and tribulations being experienced at the SALCC. When you piggy-back on a “story” or a “press release” of a valid news article – YOUR STORY gets lost!!

    With a press release, or an OPED to air grievances; then you will get the attention you deserve. Take my TIP and run with it.

  7. I honestly think student nurse needs to look after her mental state. She needs to address this through letter to her union, SALCC administration and ministry of education. She is coming across like she is in serious need of an intervention. This does not bode well for a nurse who needs to look after their health physically and mentally.


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