The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller (1945 - ) - The National Library of Jamaica

The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller (1945 - )

History was made in Jamaica when on February 26, 2006 Mrs. Simpson-Miller was elected as the first female president of the People’s National Party (PNP) and on March 30, 2006 when she was sworn in as Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister.  She served in this post for the period March 2006 to September 2007 and again from January 2012 to March 2016.

Portia Simpson-Miller was born on December 12, 1945 in the rural community of Wood Hall, St. Catherine. She is married to Errald Miller.

Mrs. Simpson Miller received her formal education at the Marlie Hill Primary School; the former St. Martin’s High School and Jamaica Commercial Institute. Mrs. Simpson-Miller also received a Degree in Public Administration from the Union Institute of Miami. Several years later, in 2002 the Institute conferred upon Mrs. Simpson-Miller the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The award of this honorary degree was quite significant as Mrs. Simpson-Miller is the first graduate to have received the Institute’s honorary degree. In addition, Mrs. Simpson Miller holds the Certificate in Advanced Management from the University of California at Berkley and a Certificate in Public Relations and Advanced Management from the Institute of Management and Production, Jamaica.

1974 was the beginning of Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s career in representational politics. She was asked to represent the People’s National Party in the Municipal elections of 1974 representing the Trench Town area. Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s surprising success in the Municipal elections made way for her to be nominated as a candidate for the general elections. This was also another success story with her winning in both the 1976 and 1980 general elections. She has also been Member of Parliament for South-West St. Andrew since 1989. Mrs. Simpson-Miller has been one of the most successful and popular female politicians in Jamaica.

Mrs. Simpson Miller has served in several areas of the People’s National Party:

Councilor in the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation 1974
Member of Parliament for South-West St. Andrew since 1976
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and in the Office of the Prime Minister 1977
PNP Vice President 1978
President of the Women’s Movement of the PNP 1983
Minister of Labour, Social Security and Sport 1989
Minister of Tourism and Sport 2000
Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport 2002

Her accomplishments include reform to the Overseas Farm workers program through the Overseas Recruitment Centre for Farm Workers. It was also Mrs. Portia Simpson’s initiative which resulted in the significant growth in the National Insurance Fund which benefits pensioners. She also had high on her agenda the employment of youth and women.

Mrs. Simpson-Miller is an avid supporter of Jamaican athletes and she would be seen at many sports events often dressed in the National colours. It was also under the leadership of Portia Simpson-Miller as Sports Minister that the Indoor Sports Facility at the National Stadium was built and the Sports Development Foundation established.