In celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of independence, we are honoured to welcome to our podium the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica.
The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller was sworn in as Prime Minister of Jamaica on January 5, 2012. Previously she had been Prime Minister from March 2006 to September 2007, after having served for 17 years as a Cabinet Minister with portfolio responsibility for Labour and Social Security, Tourism and Local Government, Community Development and Sport. She was conferred with the Order of the Nation in May 2006.
Mrs. Simpson Miller has a distinguished record of service at the regional and international levels: she is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders; vice president of the Organization of American States’ High‐level Inter‐American Network on Decentralization, Local Government and Citizen Participation; Chairperson of the Caribbean Forum of Ministers responsible for decentralization, local government, community development and citizen participation, and board member of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. She has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of CIFAL in Atlanta, Georgia.
In March 2007, Mrs. Simpson Miller was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s World Women and Sport Trophy for her outstanding dedication to women in Jamaican Sports – both athletes and administrators. The leading architect of Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, Mrs Simpson Miller has been tireless in promoting and strengthening urban renewal and community development, leading to fundamental reforms in local government. As Minister of Labour and Welfare, she presided over a significant expansion of Jamaica’s Overseas Work Programme and under her watch; the National Insurance Scheme was transformed into a major component of the government’s social protection system. She was also instrumental in establishing a Labour Chair in the University of the West Indies, Department of Government.
In 2009, she received the Distinguished Award for her dedication and commitment to urban renewal and community development from the Mayor, City of Miami and also the Bureau of Women's Affairs Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of women's affairs in Jamaica. Mrs. Simpson Miller was also invited to sit on the board of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and is presently a member of that board.
The Honourable Prime Minister holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Union Institute and University of Cincinnati, Ohio and has participated in the Leaders in Development Executive Programme at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.
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