On March 10, 2010, Beatrice Wilkinson Welters was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, having been named to that post by President Barack Obama. Prior to that, she was a philanthropist and senior employee of IBM, where she worked from 1977 to 1991, holding several positions, including systems engineer.
Welters was seven when her mother died. Five years later, her father also passed leaving her to be raised in foster care in Brooklyn, New York. Setting her sights on academic excellence, she earned an A.A. from Ulster County Community College in New York State, a B.A. from Manhattanville College in New York City, and an M.A. from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York.
Her experience in foster care later spurred Welters, along with her husband, Anthony, an attorney and executive with United Healthcare, to found the AnBryce Foundation in 1995 to provide opportunities for underprivileged children. The Foundation acquired land in Virginia, where they hold an annual summer academy teaching life skills to disadvantaged young people. The couple later founded the Vincent Wilkinson Foundation (2004), also to provide opportunities for underserved youth.
As Chairman and President of the AnBryce Foundation, Welters met then Illinois Senator Barack Obama in 2007. Senator Obama, hearing of their work, invited her and her husband to have breakfast with him on Capitol Hill. That meeting would later persuade President Obama to select Welters as the diplomat to represent the United States in the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
After her confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Welters and her husband arrived in Port-of-Spain, the capital. Soon afterwards she became actively involved in the social and educational life of the country, notably bringing the National Symphony Orchestra from Washington, D.C. to Port-of-Spain to help that country celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence in August of 2012. She also supported the effort to create