On May 6, 2015, Mona L. Barnes was unanimously approved by the 31st Legislature of the Virgin Islands to serve as Director of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency. Governor Kenneth E. Mapp appointed Ms. Barnes as the Agency’s director in March 2015 and tasked her with advancing VITEMA’s efforts to build a resilient community.
Ms. Barnes is a graduate of the St. Croix Central High School. She has also obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Fisk University and a master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University. Ms. Barnes is an entrepreneur and a successful businesswoman in her own right and uses her knowledge and expertise to mentor young entrepreneurs.
Ms. Barnes is also an educator having taught at the Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School for twelve (12) years, while simultaneously working at the Girls Group Home for the Virgin Islands Behavioral Services. Ms. Barnes currently serves as the Senior Pastor for the City of Refuge Worship Center formerly known as the Holy Ghost Deliverance Ministries, Inc., on St. Croix.
In October 1986, Ms. Barnes voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves thus commencing her exemplary career in the military. Her military training provided the necessary skills to acquire specific-based knowledge by attending numerous workshops and courses in the area of emergency response. Ms. Barnes is certified in National Incident Management System.
She has completed The FEMA Incident Command System (ICS) 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, and 800 courses from the Emergency Management Institute, Basic Hazmat Course, Chemical Operations Specialist Course, Civil Support Skills Course, Civil Support Team Radiological Training Course, Commander & Staff Nuclear Accident Response Course, Control and Coordination Course, Cross Designated Agricultural Inspection Course, Custom Border Clearance Agent Training Course, Department of Defense Emergency Preparation Course, Emergency Response Course, Emergency Response to Terrorism from the National Fire Academy Course, Environmental Sampling Course, FBI Caribbean Region Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness Conference, The Field Management of Chemical and Biological Casualties Course, Hazardous Materials Course, Hazardous Materials Awareness Course, Hazardous Materials Technician Course, IS-200 Incident Command System Course, National Weapons of Mass Destruction Standardized Awareness Program, Nuclear Emergency Team Orientation, The Permit Required Confined Space Awareness Course, Radiological Accident Command Course, The Technical Expert Course, Toxic Training Agent with American Protective Equipment Course and Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidence Response Course. In addition, Ms. Barnes attended the Sergeant Major Academy one-year Residency Course in El Paso, Texas.
In 2010, Ms. Barnes’ exemplary leadership was recognized when she was selected to serve as the first female State Command Sergeant Major in the Virgin Islands, making her one of only three females in the 50 States and Territories to hold this position. Ms. Barnes retired from the Virgin Islands National Guard on February 28, 2015.