Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is the Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. Before assuming this office on May 1, 2015, he served the university as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of its Cave Hill Campus in Barbados for thirteen years. His distinguished career within the university began at age 26, its youngest scholar to be promoted to a personal chair. As Professor of Economic and Social History, he won the first Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in the field of research. Sir Hilary has been recognized globally for his academic achievements and leadership expertise. He serves on many United Nations (UN) committees and advisory panels. He is a founding memebr of Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon's Science Advisory Board on sustainable development, and has been an advisor to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Cities for Peace Global Program and UN World Culture Report. He is the Vice President of UNESCO's Slave Route Project and Editor of the Ninth Volume of UNESCO's General History of Africa Series which he conceptualized around the Global Africa framework.
Sir Hilary received his higher education in the United Kingdom and holds a BA (HONS) Degree in Economic and Social History and a Ph.D. from Hull University. He has lecture extensively in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, and has published over 100 peer reviewed essays and 14 scholarly books and monographs on subjects ranging from the Atlantic and Caribbean History, gender relations in the Caribbean, sport development, and popular culture. These include: Centering Woman: Gender Discourses in Caribbean Slave Societies (Randle Publishers, 1999); The History of Barbados (Cambridge University Press, 2006); Natural Rebels: A Social History of Enslaved Black Women in the Caribbean (Rutgers University Press, 1989); Britain's Black Debt: Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide in the Caribbean (UWI Press); and The Development of West Indies Cricket: Volume 1: The Age of Nationalism; and Volume 2: The Age of Globalization (Pluto Press, 1999).
Sir Hilary has received numerous awards for his contributions including Honorary Doctor of Letters degrees from Brock University in Candada, the University of Glasgow in Scotland, Hull University and the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology in Ghana. In 2007, Sir Hilary was made a Commander Knight of St. Andrew (KA), Barbados' highest honour, "in recognition of his distinguished service in the fields of Education, Sports and the Arts." In 2015, he was honored by the Borough of Brooklyn, New York, for "extraordinary achievement, outstanding leadership, and contribution to the community." He received in 2015 the Second Global Community Helaer Award for humanitarian work from the Community Healer Network, in Washington DC, following the legendary Maya Angelou.
Sir Hilary also serves in multiple roles in the Caribbean private sector, and is a long serving director of Sagicor Financial Corporation - the larges, international financial services congolmerate in the region. He is a director of British telecom giant Cable and Wireless and Chairman of The University of the West Indies Press. He also served as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board and West Indies Cricket World Cup Inc. He is found and director of the CLR James Cnetre for Cricket Research and founder director of the Sagicor West Indies Cricket Academy. He is Vice President of the Commonwealth Advisory Body of Sports and Development which advises Sport Ministers on the planning of the Commonwealth Advisory Body of SPorts and Development which advises Sport Ministers on the planning of the Commonwealth Games. Sir Hilary is Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Reparations, and is a member of the UN Development Program Advisory Panel of the Caribbean Human Development Report.
In addition to being a distinguished university adminstrator, internationally reputed Economic Historian and transformational leader in higher education, Sir Hilary is a keen cricketer and research of cricket history and culture. He is also an accomplished playwright with six of his staged works receiving popular acclaim.