Tara Thomas is to resign as a councillor on St Helena in order to study for a masters degree in London.
She has been awarded a Chevening Scholarship – usually given to “students with demonstrable potential to become future leaders.”
Tara, who was still in her early 20s when she became a councillor, is chair of St Helena Government’s Economy & Finance Committee. She is known as a progressive member of the executive council who has pushed for more openness in government.
She has also been an ambassador for the island. While on her current UK leave she has represented St Helena at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. She also attended the UK Overseas Territories Forum in London in 2010.
Tara is to study for an MBA degree at the London School of Business & Finance from January 2013.
But first she will spend three months on pre-Masters studies, working from home via the internet.
She said she was thrilled to be selected for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office scholarship. “I’m disappointed that my term on council will conclude early, but confident the knowledge and skills I gain from the course will prove useful to the island.”
Governor Mark Capes said: “Tara has made an impressive contribution to the working of government and I shall greatly miss her input at meetings of executive council.
“However, I have no doubt that in the years ahead, Tara, whether in government or in the private sector, will continue to play a prominent role in shaping a positive future for St Helena.”
A by-election will be held, and a new member of executive council will be chosen to replace her.