High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill is a barrister by profession who has worked for over 15 years in the banking and financial services sector before taking up her appointment as High Commissioner to the Court of St. James’s with extraordinary and plenipotentiary powers in 2017. She is also concurrently Antigua and Barbuda’s non-resident ambassador to Ireland, the Federal Republic of Germany, Estonia, and Lithuania. She is the youngest person and first female to be appointed to these positions. Her areas of professional interest are financial services regulation, the blue economy, trade and advocacy around the recognition of the inherent vulnerabilities of small states and is a widely sought after speaker in these areas. She has adopted the empowerment of youth, persons with disabilities and music as a force for social mobility and harmony as her areas of social focus.
Among her many achievements as Antigua and Barbuda’s most senior diplomat in Europe, she devised the now established Antigua and Barbuda – UK Business Forum which takes place annually in November. Under her stewardship, the Mission in London became the first overseas mission to administer citizenship oaths the template for which is now used across all Antiguan and Barbudan missions and consulates around the world. She also plays a key role on the International Steering Committee for the development of the Centre for Oceanography and the Blue Economy at The University of the West Indies Five Islands campus on Antigua and Barbuda as well as in securing the funding and supporting the plans to establish the multi-million pound Harrison Centre Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education, a second chance programme focused on TVET skills.
High Commissioner Hill is the founder and chair of the current Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra which was established in 2018. An avid fan of cricket, High Commissioner Hill has also developed a successful cricket exchange programme in partnership with the Minister of Sport between cricket clubs in the UK and Antigua and Barbuda for young cricketers under the age of 19.
High Commissioner Hill is a Rhodes Scholar who studied Development Studies at the University of Oxford as a member of St. Peter’s College. She is also an Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn Prince of Wales Scholar who was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2004. She was called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean following completion of the Bar conversion course at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. She is an accomplished pianist and speaks French. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the King’s 2023 New Year’s Honours List for services to youth and the arts.