Perkins International Director Dr. W. Aubrey Webson, a longtime human rights advocate and leader of Perkins’ global effort to improve the lives of children with visual impairments, has been named permanent representative and ambassador to the United Nations by his home government of Antigua and Barbuda.
Webson is slated to begin his appointment Nov. 1. In his new role, Webson will oversee the small Caribbean nation’s U.N. office located in New York City.
Webson has served as Perkins International director since 2011. Under his leadership, Perkins International has expanded its reach to children, educators, caregivers and other professionals all over the world and now works with partners in more than 60 countries.
Webson’s last day as Perkins International director will be Oct. 17. He will remain connected to Perkins as a special advisor.
“The time has come for a new challenge and a new opportunity to reach out in service of those who are most underserved on our globe,” said Webson. “I have made great friends and lifelong relationships during the time I’ve spent working at Perkins. This is a home to me and my family. The knowledge, experience and strength I have assembled during my time here is the pillar on which I will build the foundation for my next step along life’s journey.”
A native of Antigua and Barbuda, Webson began his career as executive director of the Caribbean Council for the Blind, and continued with important work on behalf of Helen Keller International and Sight Savers International.
Prior to being named Perkins International director, he served for more than 15 years as program coordinator of the Institutional Development Program, which, in partnership with Perkins, works to empower Africans who are blind and visually impaired and improve the organizations across the continent that support them.
“Those who know Aubrey will agree there is no better person for this new job,” said Perkins President and CEO Dave Power. “Aubrey has a long history of working with influential organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. As ambassador representing his native island of Antigua and Barbuda, Aubrey will have the opportunity to apply his extensive experience in advocacy and human rights to an even broader platform.”
In a news report, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne heralded Webson as “an outstanding citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who has made significant contributions to the social development of people with disabilities around the world.”
“As a visually impaired individual, Dr. Webson has worked extensively in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, helping to shape educational services for children with disabilities,” said Browne. “He has also supported governments and social workers in policy development. I am confident that he is very suitable for the responsibilities entrusted to him.”
As ambassador, Webson will represent Antigua and Barbuda’s views in the U.N. General Assembly on a broad spectrum of global issues, including peace, security, international law and human rights.