Press Release

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture
H Lavity Stoutt Community College
Release Date:
Friday, 2 October 2020 - 4:55pm

The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) is now under new leadership with the recent appointment of a new Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors and the appointment of a President and Vice President.

Cabinet recently approved the appointment of Mrs. Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool as Chair and Dr. Sauda Smith as Vice Chair with effect from 15th September, 2020 to 31st May, 2022. Additionally, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, approved the Board’s recommendation for Dr. Richard Georges to be appointed as President of the College for three years with effect from 1st October, 2020. The Board approved the appointment of Dr. Arlene Smith-Thompson as Vice President of Academic Affairs.       

 Honorable Wheatley said that he is pleased with the new appointments, adding that they bring value to the institution.

“I thank all the appointees for accepting these weighty responsibilities. I am proud that, with the appointment of our Board Chairperson and our President, we have relatively young persons who will lead the institution that helped prepare them for success.” He added, “It also brings stability, new ideas, energetic leadership and vibrance. Our Board Deputy Chair along with our new Vice President are also excellent choices which further propel the institution to new heights. Dr. Sauda Smith has a great deal of experience and institutional knowledge and Dr. Arlene Smith-Thompson has a wealth of experience in education and in administration. I congratulate this leadership team and wish them every success.”

The position of Chairman became vacant after the former Chairman Mr. John Samuel resigned subsequent to his new appointment as Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry.

Mrs. Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool, who previously served as Deputy Chairman and Chair of the Human Resources Committee of the Board, is an ambitious BVI Attorney and Notary Public with a strong knowledge of BVI Regulatory, Insolvency, Corporate/Commercial and Probate laws. She is a product of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, and is the first graduate of the College to be appointed as Chairman of the HLSCC Board of Governors.

Mrs. Forbes-Vanterpool graduated from the HLSCC in 2001 with an Associate of Arts Degree before attending the University of the West Indies where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree and thereafter a Legal Education Certificate from the Eugene Dupuch Law School. Mrs. Forbes-Vanterpool also holds a Masters of Laws Degree in Corporate and Commercial Law from the Queen Mary University of London and is a member of the internationally recognised Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mrs. Forbes-Vanterpool has served on several Boards over the years including Legal Aid Board and the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee and is the former Deputy Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). She is the present Chairman of the Police Service Commission and member of the Virgin Islands Parole Board.

Dr. Sauda Smith has served the institution over the years in different capacities. She was the Dean of Arts, Science and General Studies and headed the Humanities, Social Sciences and Communications departments. She also served as the Associate Vice President for Operations, Quality Assurance and Human Resources and Interim Vice President prior to her departure from the college in 2017. Dr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies/African American Studies, concentration History from Wesleyan University, a Master of Arts, African Languages, Linguistics and Literature, concentration in West African Religious Literature from the University of Wisconsin and a Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology of Literature from Warnborough University Alliance in the United Kingdom.   

Dr. Richard Georges has been acting as President of the College since 29th October, 2019. He too has served the institution over the years in different capacities, including Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, Head of Humanities and Director of Institutional Advancement. Dr. Georges is also a product of the College, having graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in English, Government and Politics in 2000. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Studio Art from Texas Christian University in 2004, a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University in 2007 and a Ph.D in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK in 2017.

Dr. Arlene Smith-Thompson succeeds Dr. Georges as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and joins Dr. Luverne Baptiste, Vice President for Operations and Quality Assurance, as part of the college’s management team. She too has had a long standing relationship with the College, having previously served as an Adjunct Lecturer in business and education courses for a number of years and most recently as a consultant. She has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the UWI Open Campus in the BVI, teaching several business courses over the years. 

Dr. Smith-Thompson had an extensive public service career which commenced as a Business Education teacher and later Department Head at the then BVI High School.  She then transitioned to government administration rising to the post of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Deputy Governor’s Office, and Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works. Dr. Smith-Thompson’s qualifications include: a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education from Alabama A&M University in 1992, a Master of Education in Educational Management from the University of Newcastle in 1999; an Executive Diploma in Strategic Management from the Chartered Management Institute, UK and a Doctorate in Higher Education Policy from the University of Liverpool in 2018. Dr. Smith-Thompson is also a founding member of the Zonta Club of Tortola.

Appointments to the Board of Governors are made by the Minister with responsibility for the College. The Board makes the appointments for the President and Vice President, the former after the approval by the Minister. The members of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s Board of Governors are responsible for establishing the policies that govern the institution and serve as the institution’s final authority responsible for efficient and effective use of resources.



  • Photo of Chairman,  Mrs. Fiona Forbes-Vanterpool
  • Photo of Vice Chairman Dr. Sauda Smith
  • Photo of President, Dr. Richard Georges
  • Photo of Vice President of Academic  Affairs Dr. Arlene Smith-Thompson


Nekita Turnbull

Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2730