What institutions did she attend?

  • Tranquillity Government Primary School, Trinidad
  • Bishop Anstey Girls’ High School, Trinidad
  • The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, Trinidad– BSc in Economics
  • George Washington University, USA – MBA, Management of Science and Technology for Innovation
  • Kiel Institute for World Economics, Germany– Advanced Studies Certificate in International Economic Policy Research
  • University of Sussex, UK– DPhil in Science and Technology Policy Studies

Other Achievements 

  • She has led the design and development of an interdisciplinary Masters of Management in Innovation Studies at Wits University and a multi-year research interdisciplinary programme on innovation for sustainability.
  • Served as an advisor to the Vice Minister of Science and Technology in Angola, where she designed national computer literacy programmes to assist with demobilisation of former freedom fighters
  • Completed for CARICOM a regional ICT and development strategy, which was adopted by ministers in October 2004. The strategy includes recommendations on accelerating and deepening ICTs’ impact on Caribbean development by deploying flagship programmes in e-commerce, disaster management, technological capacity building, e-governance and innovation.
  • Led the design of an award-winning private sector development programme for Liberia to assist with post-conflict development efforts
  • Served as Course Director for a master’s level programme on telecommunications regulation and policy at The UWI, St Augustine. She developed the Telecommunications Sector Planning capstone course, which is delivered on-line to telecommunication regulators, policy-makers and executives.


She considers the raising of her young daughter to be the most rewarding lifelong project she could ever commit to.


She loves literature, art and music.

Gillian Marcelle (Date of Birth: 10th June 1964)

Caribbean Women in STI

Gillian Marcelle is a tenured Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at the Wits Business School, Wits University (formerly called the University of the Witwatersrand) in Johannesburg (Joburg), South Africa. She is an internationally-renowned policy specialist, research scholar and advocate in science, technology and innovation (STI). She leads a research group on Strategic Management of Innovation and served as Chair of the Technical Committee for the international symposium, Innovation and Development Frontiers of Research, Policy and Practice, at Wits University. Prior to joining Wits University, she held teaching and research positions in the UK and Trinidad and Tobago.

She published Technological Learning: Strategic Imperative for the Developing World with Edward Elgar in December 2004, and has produced academic articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous conference papers and technical reports. She serves in editorial positions on several specialist journals in her field and is a member of the Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (Globelics) and the International Society of Professional Innovation Managers (ISPIM).

Her experience includes staff and external advisory assignments with: the World Bank/IFC, European Union/ACP Centre for Development of Enterprise, CARICOM, UN-DESA, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNIFEM, UN-ECA, ITU, UNU-INTECH, the Republic of Angola, the City of Johannesburg, Digital Links International, JP Morgan Chase, and BT plc. She also has considerable experience in high-level advocacy including serving as a member of the Board of the UN ICT Task Force, at the invitation of former Secretary General, Kofi Annan. She also served on the International Advisory Panel on ICT4 Development, and founded a global advocacy network, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Gender Caucus.

Gillian Michelle Marcelle was born on 10th June, 1964 in Tunapuna, Trinidad. She was an energetic and enthusiastic child, who received encouragement from her family and primary school teachers. She credits the competitive and challenging environment at her secondary school with building a resilience on which she has drawn as an adult. After obtaining a poor grade in A-Level physics, she chose a degree in social sciences. She enjoyed the rigor and content of her economics courses and excelled in statistics and scientific method courses. She found her course on science and technology (S&T) policy particularly engaging, and her lecturer for this course advised her to pursue an MBA with a concentration in management of S&T, a rarity in the mid-1980s.

This scholar believes that, “The potential benefits of investing in and using technology include job creation, empowerment, self-expression and improvements in well-being,” and she continues to be fascinated and inspired by the role that science, technology and innovation (STI) play in development.


What is an STI policy specialist?

Policy specialists provide solutions to societal problems by developing and influencing the policies that affect those
problems. Focusing on a policy area, they research problems and solutions, analyse relevant laws, and suggest new policies to policy makers and their staff. Policy specialists in science, technology and innovation (STI) investigate how countries could harness STI to help overcome economic constraints and support human development.

Areas of Specialisation

  • Environmental policy
  • Health policy
  • ICT policy
  • Innovation policy
  • Technology policy
  • Science policy

What do I need to study?

A policy specialist should have a background in, or some exposure to, both social sciences and natural or physical sciences.

At CSEC and CAPE: Social Sciences, Communication Studies, Sociology, Principles of Business, Economics

Natural or Physical Sciences: Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology

A first degree in science or social science followed by a masters or PhD, preferably in public policy, is required to lecture, consult or advise.

What skills and traits do I need?

  • Research and analytical skills
  • Quantitative skills
  • Team-work skills
  • Technology savvy
  • Communication and public speaking skills

Famous Policy Specialists

  • Alice Amsden
  • Randeep Sudan
  • Raisa Deber
  • Mary Wiktorowicz