The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, O.N., M.P.
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; 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 (an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize on women’s issues); 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 (an international training centre for governmental authorities) 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.
Portia Simpson Miller was born in Wood Hall, St. Catherine and attended the Marlie Hill Primary School, St. Martin's High School and the Union Institute, Miami Florida where she read for a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration. While completing her degree she also completed a Diploma in Computing, Programming and Public Relations.
- Leader of the Opposition - September 1, 2007 - December 2011
- Prime Minister of Jamaica March 31, 2006 - September 10, 2007
- Elected President of the People's National Party on February 25th, 2006 and Prime Minister designate
- Minister of Local Government, Community Development & Sport
- Former Minister of Tourism and Sport with responsibilities for Entertainment & Gender Issues
- Acted in the capacity of Prime Minister on several occasions
- Vice President of the People's National Party since 1978
- Participated in First Eleanor Roosevelt Caucus of Women Political Leaders
- Participated in “Women in Leadership Conference” at the John F. Kennedy School , Harvard University , in 1997
- Recipient of the Certificate for completion of the Executive Programme for Leaders in Development at the above institution in 1999
- Holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Union Institute in Miami, Certificates in Public Relations, Advanced Management Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the Union Institute An advocate for the poor, the dispossessed, the oppressed and all those who remain voiceless and faceless in the corridors of power
- Holds a steadfast vision for development and change in the Jamaican Society