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Shelly was born and raised in the oil-community of Pointe-a-Pierre, south Trinidad. Her father was a senior employee of Texaco, Trintoc, and state-owned Petrotrin, for many years. Shelly Dass was educated at "St Peters' Private Primary School" in Pointe-a-Pierre, St. Joseph's Convent, and later, Oral Roberts University in the United States, where she studied broadcast journalism. She is the holder of a masters degree from the University of London. RBG.
Shelly has been a news anchor at both CCN TV6 (where she started in September 1998) and Trinidad and Tobago Television, prior to her stint at Cable News Channel 3. She was a co-presenter of Morning Edition and later the anchor of the News At Ten on TV6, and the CCN TV6 news at 7, before moving to the anchor chair at TTT's Panorama. She briefly returned to TV6 in 2005, before joining CNC3. She was also the producer and moderator of the current affairs programme The Big Story on CNC3. With Dass as both producer and host, the show won 4 awards for analysis and coverage three months into its airing.
On September 6, 2008, Shelly Dass wed Robert Clarke, a producer and reporter at Gayelle TV, in a million dollar beachfront ceremony at a private family owned resort in Tobago. Clarke is the great great grandson of Captain Authur Andrew Cipriani, former Trinidad & Tobago politician, mayor, and trade union leader. Clarke, an award winning journalist and writer, met Dass during a cabinet press conference in Port of Spain.