Maureen Manchouck (Date of Birth: 23rd Aug 1947)
Maureen Myrna Ou Young was born on August 23rd, 1947 in Port-of-Spain. She attended St. Rose’s Girls Intermediate School and Holy Name Convent. When she was twelve, her father passed away, compounding her responsibilities in the home and family grocery. She excelled nonetheless, attending The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine and graduating with her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Zoology and Chemistry in 1972. She then began working at the National Science Advisory Council, becoming its Executive Director before joining a fledgling NIHERST in 1979.
During the 1980s, Mrs Manchouck steered NIHERST’s School of Languages as it undertook bold, modern approaches to language education. In 1989, she envisioned and directed the establishment of the NIHERST/NGC National Science Centre (NSC), the only science centre in the region. Established with the assistance of the National Gas Company (NGC), the NSC’s unique programme of activities has boosted the average citizen’s creativity, awareness of, and engagement in, science, technology and innovation.
In 1990, Mrs Manchouck was appointed President of NIHERST, having served as Acting President for four years. With Dr Alvin Ashton, NIHERST’s Vice President for Higher Education, she helped to establish the College of Science, Technology and the Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT) and the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT). She guided the preparation of a seminal document for the creation of a seamless education system, and spearheaded NIHERST’s science popularisation endeavours, many of which benefited other Caribbean countries.
Mrs Manchouck has played a major role in the formulation of draft science policies for Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the 2005 regional science policy. She has also held important positions with several influential agencies. She chaired the Commonwealth Science Council from 1997 to 2000 and was Vice-Chair of the Vision 2020 Sub-Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation. She has also been the Secretary of the Caribbean Council of Science and Technology since 1999, and a founding member of the Global Water Partnership, Caribbean Chapter (GWP-C).
In 2012, she received an honorary LLD from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. She retired as President of NIHERST in 2017, and is currently the chairman of the Public Service Commission. In her spare time, Mrs Manchouck enjoys gardening, cooking and the rich cultural life of Trinidad and Tobago.