For Tonika Sealy-Thompson, the road to becoming Barbados’ ambassador to Brazil runs straight through UC Berkeley.
The post had been open since August 2017, and there were hints that Sealy-Thompson was on the short list for the job. Late last year, Mia Amor Mottley, Barbados’ recently elected prime minister and the first woman to hold that position, appointed Sealy-Thompson to the role.
At 42, Sealy-Thompson is Barbados’ youngest-serving woman ambassador and one of the youngest ambassadors to Brazil. She credits her time at Berkeley as being integral to her readiness to take on the high-profile job.
“This place, UC Berkeley, is unique on the planet,” Sealy-Thompson says. “I have been a few places, and Berkeley is unique for what it has to offer, in terms of a social justice education and global consciousness — qualities absolutely essential for a good diplomat.