Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Anthony Phillips-Spencer?
Brigadier General Anthony Phillips-Spencer presented his credentials as Trinidad and Tobago’s ambassador to the United States on June 27, 2016. It’s the first such post for Phillips-Spencer, who was formerly a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s defense force.
Phillips-Spencer attended Morvant Anglican School for primary school and secondary school at Trinity College in Moka, Trinidad, graduating in 1980. He enlisted in his country’s defense force the following year, working his way up the ranks. Phillips-Spencer earned a B.S. in economics from the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in 1992 and did some post-graduate work in international relations. Later, he returned to the university and earned an M.Sc. in international relations in 2011. His thesis was “Drug Policy Formulation in the Caribbean: 1982-2010.”
Phillips-Spencer spent much of his career working in close proximity to Trinidad and Tobago’s presidents, primarily A.N.R. Robinson. In 1997, Phillips-Spencer went to work in the president’s office and the following year was made aide de camp to Robinson. He held that post for a year, but remained in Robinson’s office until 2003. Phillips-Spencer was named aide de camp to new President George Maxwell Richards in 2003, again remaining in that job for a year.
In 2004, Phillips-Spencer was sent to Washington as defense attaché in the embassy. While there, he began a close relationship between his military and the Delaware National Guard.
He returned to Trinidad and Tobago and in 2011 was named commanding officer of the army. In 2013, he was made vice chief of the defense force and was thought to be in line to be chief. However, when the incumbent chief retired, Phillips-Spencer was passed over and a few months later was sent to Washington as ambassador.
Phillips-Spencer speaks English, French and Spanish.
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