JIS News

The history books of Jamaica recorded a significant entry on Saturday, February 25, 2006 when Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport emerged the winner of a keenly contested race for the presidency of the ruling People’s National Party.
She will be the first woman to become President of any of Jamaica’s leading political parties and is the first woman, in the nation’s history, to ascend to the post of Prime Minister when the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson retires in another four to five weeks.
Minister Simpson Miller amassed some 1,775 votes, from a possible 3,800 votes at the party’s presidential elections held at Jamaica College, Old Hope Road in Kingston . The other contenders were: Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of National Security who received 1,538 votes, Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Finance and Planning with 283 votes and Dr. Karl Blythe with 204.
In her acceptance speech, at party headquarters on Old Hope Road, Minister Simpson Miller said that Team Portia fought a good fight and “gave me the victory but now it has to become Team Jamaica.”
Her service to the party spans some 34 years including being Vice President since 1978. Prior to being assigned to the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport in 2002, the Prime Minister designate served as Minister of Tourism and Sport for two years from 2000, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Sport in 1995, Minister of Labour and Welfare in 1993 and Minister of Labour, Welfare and Sports in 1989.
Other positions she has held in the party include: Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and the Office of the Prime Minister in 1970, PNP Spokesperson on Women’s Affairs, Pension, Social Security and Consumer Affairs; Councillor of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) from 1974 to 1976 and Member of Parliament (MP) for South West St. Andrew since 1989.
In 1997, Mrs. Simpson Miller participated in the First Eleanor Roosevelt Caucus of Women Political Leaders and in the same year attended the Women in Leadership Conference at the John F. Kennedy School , Harvard University . In 1999, she received a certificate from Harvard University when she completed the Executive Programme for Leaders in Development.
The Prime Minister designate holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Union Institute in Miami , Florida and while completing her degree obtained diplomas in Computing, Programming and Public Relations. Additionally, she has been awarded an Honourary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Union Institute in Miami , Florida .
Born in Wood Hall, St. Catherine on December 12, 1945, Mrs. Simpson-Miller attended the Marlie Hill Primary School , St. Catherine and the St. Martin ‘s High School.
She has been married to Errald Miller, the former CEO of Cable & Wireless Jamaica Ltd. since 1998.