‘Talented’ Rowley Gets Honorary Doctorate

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By Prior Beharry

UNITED States President Joe Biden says he did not know that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley was “so talented” as both men received honorary doctorates from Howard University in Washington, DC, on Saturday.

Biden delivered the commencement speech at the university’s convocation ceremony held at the Capital One Arena.

He said, “Prime Minister. I didn’t know you were so talented.”


His comments came after Howard University President Dr Wayne Frederick described Dr Rowley as a “renowned social and political leader, pioneering statesman and scholar.”

He said Dr Rowley contributed to Trinidad and Tobago’s socio-economic development, regional integration and strengthening ties with the US. 

Biden called T&T one of the US strongest partners in the Caribbean.

He said, “I just thought you were a foreign policies… Latin American guy.”

Biden said, “We gotta talk,” to laughter from those in the stadium.

He added, “All kidding aside, thank you for being a strong partner in the Caribbean, for addressing climate change and supporting democracy across the western hemisphere.”

Before bestowing him with his honorary degree, Dr Frederick said Dr Rowley was a major political player in T&T since 1981 and praised him for strengthening US/T&T ties in areas such as security, education, energy, agriculture and the arts.

Dr Frederick said, “Your enterprising efforts have fostered regional integration among Caribbean countries including Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana.”

He said Dr Rowley was versed in the history of the US and the Caribbean.

Dr Frederick said T&T continued benefited from policies implemented under Rowley.

Other honorary recipients included Congressman James E Clyburn; education benefactors Martha and Bruce A Karsh; health sciences trailblazer A Eugene Washington; and corporate director Benaree Pratt Wiley.

Dr Frederick received the Trinidad and Tobago’s highest award – the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) for the year 2020. Due to the pandemic, that ceremony took place last year. 


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