Dr J. Carolyn Gomes assumed the role of Executive Director of Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) in January 2014. Before that she was Executive Director of Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) a non-profit, Citizens’ Rights Action Group that she helped found and served as first Chairperson.
A Medical Doctor by training, Carolyn graduated with a M.B.,B.S(Hons) degree from the University of the West Indies in 1980, then specialised in Paediatrics getting the M.R.C.P(UK) degree in 1988. She worked in private practice until 2002 when she went to work with JFJ. Since then she has worked in the field of human rights, advocating for the protection and promotion of rights and the development of proper accountability systems for breaches of rights.
Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC), where she now works, is a coalition of community leaders and non-governmental organisations working with Caribbean populations who are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection, and who are often left behind in access to treatment and healthcare programmes. Carolyn joined the team at CVC with a mandate to help provide strategic direction and vision for CVC, lead in policy analyses and policy interventions, drive campaigning and advocacy direction, and act as a spokesperson for CVC. Since assuming that post she has been appointed as the vulnerable communities’ representative to the Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC) of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).
Carolyn has participated in a number of local and international conferences and seminars and presented extensively on Human Rights in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and has written numerous articles and papers for local and international publication. Presentations have been made to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a panellist at a special UN assembly to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Her work has been recognized in Jamaica and internationally. In 2008 she was one of five recipients of the United Nations Award for Outstanding Service in the Field of Human Rights joining a select group of recipients that includes Nelson Mandela, Benazir Bhutto and Jimmy Carter. In 2009, she was awarded the third-highest national honour when the Order of Jamaica was bestowed upon her.