Sylvia Ross Talbot Ed.D.

Widowed Supervisor - Biography


Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot was married to the Late Bishop Frederick Hilborn Talbot, African Methodist Episcopal Church. A native of St. Croix, Virgin Islands; Education: Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Biology summa cum laude, 1955; Yale University, Master of Science in Public Health, 1957; Teachers College, Columbia University, doctorate in Health Education, 1969. First spouse of a Bishop with an earned doctorate.

Provided leadership in regional, national and international religious organizations including: Continuation Committee, Caribbean Conference of Churches and Christian Medical Commission/World Council of Churches. First African American woman elected Vice Moderator, Central Committee, World Council of Churches and first African Methodist elected National President, Church Women United/USA.

Has had rich and varied work experiences in community health in the United States and Guyana. Appointed Minister of Health in Guyana heading a government department responsible for the country's hospitals, pharmacies and public health service and becoming the chief spokesperson and advocate for public health in Parliament. Later, appointed delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from Guyana. For seven years, spouse of a diplomat as husband was assigned Permanent Representative to the United Nations and later Ambassador to the United States and Canada, then to several nations in the Caribbean.

Other experiences include: World Bank Consultant in School Health to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Organizer/executive director of a non-profit interfaith disaster relief organization in St. Croix, Virgin Islands; Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees, University of the Virgin Islands; Advocate for abused women in St. Croix; Board Member, Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley, Tennessee.

Service in church includes: organist, Sunday School Teacher, Conference Branch President of the Women's Missionary Society and Episcopal District Director of the Young People’s Division. Later, as spouse of a Bishop, undertook responsibility for supervising Women's, Youth and Children's work in the districts to which spouse was assigned. Over a 32-year period, served in the 16th District (the Caribbean, South America and London, England); 6th (Georgia); 12th (Arkansas and Oklahoma), and 13th (Kentucky and Tennessee).

Has inspired and guided women and young people to address issues related to health, education, poverty and sexism. During presidency succeeded in guiding Church Women United in adopting poverty as five-year imperative for program. Worked continuously in leadership development. Recognized for innovative programming.

Has traveled to many countries in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Has authored several books, the most recent being Finding My Voice.

Awards and citations include:
"Essence Woman" ESSENCE Magazine, 1972
"Legend of Our Times" ESSENCE Magazine , 1990
Listed in “Profiles of Outstanding Virgin Islanders"
"Churchwoman of the Year" Religious Heritage of America, 1989.
"International Citizen of the Year" Alpha Kappa Alpha, 1990.
Listed among "25 Most Prominent Men and Women in the Virgin Islands"


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