Taitu Heron is a slasher: development specialist/ human rights advocate/ trainer-facilitator/ activist scholar/ and performance poet. A graduate of the University of the West Indies (Mona) and the University of Cambridge (UK) in International Relations and Development Studies, respectively, Taitu’s professional experience spans academia (Department of Government & Sociology, UWI Cave Hill and the Institute of Gender & Development Studies, UWI Mona), civil society (WMW Jamaica, Caribbean DAWN, WE-Change, and Tambourine Army); Jamaica's civil service (the Planning Institute of Jamaica) and international development (UN Women MCO-Caribbean and UNDP Jamaica).
Working in the field of Caribbean development and human rights for almost two decades, her work in programme and project management, policy development and applied research, focuses on the intersectional dynamics of citizenship and the rights of children, women and LGBTQ+ people in Caribbean development with a range of partners and stakeholders from civil society, government, academia, and international development partners across the Caribbean.
Her academic interests, poetry and publications focus on the girl child; gender based violence and vulnerable populations; the quality of citizenship; the Divine Feminine; and sexual and reproductive health and justice in the Caribbean. Taitu Heron is currently Head of the Women and Development Unit (WAND), of the University of the West Indies Open Campus, based in Barbados. WAND’s work involves inclusive, diverse and rights-centred community outreach, online learning and technical partnerships in applied research, advocacy and policy development; all of which are aimed at centring women and their families in Caribbean development.