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DPNR Commissioner Alicia Barnes Resigns

Alicia Barnes, who served as commissioner of the Planning and Natural Resources Department since January 2011, resigned her post on Tuesday. Government House spokesman Jean Greaux said she’ll remain on the job until Aug. 1.

“I don’t know her plans,” Greaux said.

Planning spokesman Jamal Nielsen said Barnes was not making any statements as to her plans because she’s still commissioner.

Her replacement has not been named.

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Greaux said Gov. John deJongh Jr. accepted her resignation and thanked her for her service.

During her tenure in office, Barnes dealt with several crucial matters including finding the cause of noxious fumes that closed St. Croix’s Central High School and the arrest of the department’s head of enforcement, Roberto Tapia, on drug charges.

Barnes went to territorial public schools, graduating from St. Croix Central High School in 1988 as senior class president.

She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of the Virgin Islands and a bachelor’s degree in marine science and environmental studies from Hampton University.

Barnes worked for the local government since 2003. Her LinkedIn profile indicates she served as the chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority from July 2009 until she took the DPNR commissioner post.

Before becoming commissioner, from January 2007 until July 2009, she was DPNR’s assistant commissioner.

From January 2003 until January 2007, Barnes worked as environmental manager at the V.I. Water and Power Authority.

According to information provided by Government House when she was named to the post, she operated her own Caribbean-based environmental consulting firm, Barnes & Associates, for four years in the late 1990s.

Barnes currently serves on the WAPA board but will be replaced when she leaves her job as commissioner.

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