Ms. Tonya Ayow

BA, MA, MLitt. (Terrorism and Political Violence)

Tonya Ayow

Director (and Deputy Executive Director), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS)

Ms. Tonya Ayow is a national of Trinidad and Tobago with over seventeen years’ experience within the CARICOM Region. Ms. Ayow began her CARICOM career at the CARICOM Secretariat where she spent five years before subsequently joining the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) in April 2008.

During her tenure at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Ayow served as the Project Officer for Crime and Security and prior to that Project Officer, Conference Services. During the security preparations for Cricket World Cup 2007 (CWC 2007), she was seconded to work with the CWC2007 Project Team which was spearheaded by the then Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados and was part of the team which developed the Regional Security Plan for CWC 2007 of which there are several initiatives that have been retained as legacy systems even to today.

At CARICOM IMPACS, Ms. Ayow served as the Head of Secretariat for two and a half years before being appointed as Assistant Director, Support Services in 2010. In that position, she had oversight of Human Resources, Finance, Administration and Secretariat and was responsible for ensuring that the Agency Work Programme is in conformity with the agreed CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy approved by the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government. In April 2018, Ms. Ayow was appointed to act in the position of Director, IMPACS and was confirmed in the position as of March 2022. As Director, IMPACS, she works with the Executive Director specifically on matters related to Resource Mobilisation, identification and pursuit of cooperation and collaboration with traditional and nontraditional partners and most recently, she has been specifically tasked with supporting the development of CARICOM IMPACS’ maritime capacity and the implementation and introduction of Passenger Name Record Data within the Agency and by extension within Member States as CARICOM IMPACS is responsible for the management of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) in CARICOM Member States.

Given her background, Ms. Ayow spearheads initiatives for the Agency with Latin American entities such as the Central American Integration System (SICA) and hemispheric entities such as the Organisation of American States (OAS). Where required, she also provides policy and technical support to ongoing regional security projects through CARICOM IMPACS and to its partners.

Ms. Ayow is the holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Latin American Studies (Trinity College, Hartford, CT, USA), a Master of Arts in International Relations (Boston University, Boston, USA) and a Master of Letters in Terrorism Studies (University of St. Andrews, Scotland).