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Name: Johnny, Sonia
Current Position: Ambassador

Sonia M. Johnny presented her credentials to President Barack Obama on September 19, 2012, as the ambassador from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia (population: 175,000). She had previously served as her country’s envoy to Washington from 1997 to 2007. Succeeding Michael Lewis, who had served since July 2008, Johnny is concurrently accredited as St. Lucia’s permanent representative of Saint Lucia to the Organization of American States (OAS).


Born circa 1953, Johnny, earned a graduate degree in International Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a law degree at the Georgetown University Law School. She was licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia in 1993.


Joining the St. Lucian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979, Johnny rose to head the ministry’s Political and Economics Division.  In November 1997, Johnny became St. Lucia’s first female ambassador, representing her country in Washington until March 1, 2007. Concurrently accredited to the OAS, she immediately became the Chairman of the Leo Rowe Fund, which provides interest-free loans under the OAS Fellowships and Scholarships Department, remaining at the helm for eight years. She was also of the OAS Permanent Council in 2006. Johnny spent much of her energies on the “banana war,” a three-cornered trade dispute among the U.S., the European Union, and banana producing countries in the Caribbean and Central America, including St. Lucia.


After leaving the Foreign Ministry, Johnny worked at OAS from March 2007 to November 2010, first as chief of the Tourism Section in the Department of Trade, Tourism and Competitiveness, and then as deputy director of the Summits Secretariat.


In November 2010, Johnny sued the cabinet, permanent secretary and attorney general of St. Lucia over a pay dispute going back to her first tenure as ambassador in Washington. She asked the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court for judicial review of St. Lucia’s decision to refuse her request for payment in lieu of vacation leave to which she was entitled under her employment contract, but the court refused.


Sonia Johnny is married to Lloyd Jackson, an American citizen who works for USAID and is currently Supervisory Program Officer assigned to Kosovo.

-Matt Bewig



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