Dame Nita Barrow was a public health official and diplomat who capped a long and distinguished career with her appointment in 1990 as the first woman governor-general of Barbados. Nita studied nursing in Barbados at the Universities of Toronto and Edinburgh, and at Columbia University, New York City. In 1964 she became an adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nita rapidly gained international stature as nursing adviser to the Pan American Health Organization. By the mid-1980s she had been president of the World Council of Churches, the World YWCA, and the International Council for Adult Education. In 1986 she became Barbadian ambassador to the UN.
Nita presided at the 1985 international women’s conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and was the only woman named to the Eminent Persons Group set up to investigate racism in South Africa. She was made Dame of the Order of St. Andrew in 1980.