Wendell Alphonsus Lawrence was born at Pottersville, Dominica, in 1936. He was a 1954 Island Scholar and holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering (1959) from McGill University and a Diploma in Public Administration (1964) from the University of the West Indies. He served as a civil engineer in the Public Works Department from 1959 resigning as its Chief Technical Officer in 1975. He then went to the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados where he worked from 1975 retiring as its Deputy Director, Productive Sector Division in 1998. He returned to Dominica that same year and became very involved in Church activity and various projects. He was made a member of the Integrity Commission in May 2009 for a three-year period. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1973.