Ambassador from St. Kitts and Nevis: Who Is Jacinth Henry-Martin?
Jacinth Lorna Henry-Martin has served as ambassador to the United States from the Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis since February 2011. St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest independent nation in the Americas in both area and population (50,000). She also serves as her nation’s representative to the Organization of American States.
Henry-Martin was born in Sandy Point, St. Kitts and Nevis, on July 28, 1961. Educated at the Sandy Point and Basseterre High Schools, she is fluent in French and Spanish. She studied Modern Languages and Cultural Management in Venezuela, and earned a Masters of Arts in Technical & Specialized Translation from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom.
Beginning in 1979, Henry-Martin has held a variety of teaching, administrative, banking and secretarial positions, including bilingual secretary to the ambassador of Venezuela in St. Kitts. She was appointed Director of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Environment in 1996, and in 2000 was made a Senator and Parliamentary Secretary in the same Ministry. Elected to the National Assembly as a Labour Party candidate in March 2000, Henry-Martin became Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports in the cabinet of Prime Minister Denzil L. Douglas. She was the Director-General of the CARIFESTA VII in 2000.
Although she lost her seat in October 2004, the following March she was named Deputy High Commissioner at the St. Kitts and Nevis embassy in London, UK, where she served until December 2008. She then came to the United States to serve as Director of US Operations for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, from January 2009 to December 2010.
She is also a storyteller, poet, dramatist and songwriter who wrote the lyrics for the winning song at the 1995 Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Song Festival in Havana, Cuba, and was crowned her nation’s first Calypso Queen the same year in honor of her performance of “Fashion Police.” In 2003, Henry-Martin published a book of poetry, Dancing in Bondage. She and her husband, Michael Martin, have three sons.