This Day In Jamaican History

On this day in Jamaican history: Honorable Portia Simpson Miller was born

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

On December 12, 1945, the Honorable Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, was born in Wood Hall, St. Catherine. Simpson-Miller made history by becoming the nation’s first female Prime Minister, serving from 30 March 2006 to 11 September 2007 and from 5 January 2012 to 3 March 2016, She was president of the People’s National Party (PNP) from 30 March 2006 to 26 March 2017 and leader of the Opposition Party from 3 March 2016 to 2 April 2017.

Simpson-Miller has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration and Certificates in Public Relations and Advanced Management from the Union Institute and University of Cincinnati, Ohio. She also completed the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Simpson Miller received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Union Institute and a Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the Northern Caribbean University.

Politically, Simpson Miller is a supporter of Jamaican republicanism and has called for replacing the Jamaican monarchy with an elected president. She became the first government head in the history of Jamaica to make a formal endorsement of civil rights for LGBT citizens.

Among her honors, Simpson Miller counts inclusion in Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Persons in the World” in 2012 and being named “Person of the Year by the Jamaica Gleaner and Jamaica Observer newspapers in 2011. Simpson Miller is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, which is a global network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers. In 2013, she was elected to serve as vice-president of the Socialist International following a conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

Simpson Miller has been married to Ernest Miller, a business executive and former chief executive officers of Cable & Wireless Jamaica Ltd., since 1998. In May 2006, she received the Jamaican Order of the Nation, which gives her and her husband the title of “The Most Honorable.” Simpson Miller is also known by the names “Sista P” and “Mama P.”

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