Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller, born on the 12th of December 1945 in Wood Hall, St. Catherine, Jamaica, a Jamaican politician and who has been the first female and the seventh Prime Minister of Jamaica since the 5th of January 2012. Previously she served as Prime Minister from March 2006 to September 2007.
She is the leader of the People’s National Party, and she was Leader of the Opposition between her two terms as Prime Minister. Simpson-Miller was elected in 1976 to the Parliament of Jamaica, for the constituency of South West St. Andrew Parish, as a member of the People’s National Party.
The PNP boycotted the elections called in 1983. She was re-elected to the same seat in a later election, and served as Minister of Labour, Welfare and Sports from 1989 to 1993.
She was Minister of Labour and Welfare from 1993 to 1995, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Sports from 1995 to February 2000, Minister of Tourism and Sports from February 2000 to October 2002, and Minister of Local Government and Sport since October 2002.
Mrs. Simpson Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration, an Honorary Doctorate from the Union Institute and University (UI&U), Florida and has participated in the Leaders in Development Executive Programme at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.
She is the second Jamaican head of government, after Percival Patterson, to openly endorse republicanism. Simpson-Miller has reportedly pledged to transform Jamaica into a republic as part of the 50th anniversary of the island’s independence.
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.
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.
Also in 2007, after a financial scandal and slowness in providing disaster aid after Hurricane Dean, the party met a decrease in its popularity and lost the elections held the same year. In 2009 she received the Distinguished Award for her dedication and commitment to urban renewal and community development from the Mayor, City of Miami.
Portia Simpson openly endorses republicanism. She considers that the monarchy must be replaced by an elected head of state. She assured several times that Jamaica will be transformed into a republic as a part of the 50th anniversary of independence of the island.
In 2012, Simpson-Miller was ranked among “Time” magazine’s “100 most influential persons in the world”. She is the wife of Errald Miller and a woman enjoys representing her country.
The National Insurance Scheme was transformed into a major component of the government’s social protection system. Mrs. Simpson Miller was the leading architect of Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development; the Honourable Prime Minister has been tireless in promoting and strengthening urban renewal and community development, leading to fundamental reforms in local government.