Pearnel P. Charles Jr. serves the people of Jamaica as Senator and Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. He previously served as the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. Mr. Charles had specific responsibility for the Department of Correctional Services, the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force and other projects within the national security portfolio.
He served as the Jamaica Labour Party Deputy Spokesperson for National Security in 2014, advocating for progressive policies to effect sustainable reduction in crime and violence as well as the introduction of innovative technology to support and advance the efforts of the security forces.
Senator Charles is an Attorney-at-Law with qualification to practice law in Jamaica and the United States of America (New York Bar). Throughout his professional career he has served with distinction as a Judicial Clerk, Senior Clerk of Court and Crown Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Most recently, he served as the Lead Counsel and Managing Attorney of The Law Offices of Pearnel P. Charles Jr., P.A.
Minister Charles earned two honours degrees from the University of the West Indies; a Bachelor of Science (double major in Biochemistry and Zoology) and a Bachelor of Laws.
As a student he distinguished himself as a bold and active leader. Consequently he was elected to several representative positions including President of the Law Society and President of the Guild of Students; the chief voice for the student population and representative to the University Council. For his service he received awards for excellence in leadership and was nominated to the renowned Global Leadership Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders, 2001, US Virgin Islands.
More than a decade ago Senator Charles completed his legal training at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, where he received the Certificate of Legal Education and was awarded the Hon. Mr. Justice Kenneth Smith, O.J. Prize, the Hon. Mrs. Justice Madge Morgan Prize and the Norman Manley Law School prize for Community Service.
He went on to pursue a Master of Laws degree at The George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C. where he was awarded the Thomas Buergenthal Scholarship for academic performance.
The son of a politician and registered nurse, Pearnel Charles Jr. was born to serve. His passion for community service is a demonstration of his character as he has participated in several workshops, outreach programs and community development drives geared towards uplifting underserved communities and protecting the most vulnerable. His spirit of volunteerism motivated him to form Impact Productions, a company used to raise funds for sports development projects. He has continued, through other outlets, to serve the interest and welfare of students and his community as a Mooting court judge, motivational speaker and volunteer to voting rights campaigns and immigration clinics.
In his leisure time Senator Charles enjoys music, soccer and reading. He is married with three children and continues to actively participate in community activities.