Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP (born 22 April 1952 in Siparia) is the
Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the seventh
person to hold this position. She was sworn in as Prime Minister on May
26, 2010 and is the country's first female Prime Minister.
Persad-Bissessar is the political leader of the United National Congress
and leads the People's Partnership, a coalition of five parties, formed
for the general election of 24 May 2010. She was the first woman to
serve as Attorney General, acting Prime Minister, Leader of the
Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago. She became Political Leader of the
United National Congress and Opposition in 2010.
Education and early career
Kamla Persad-Bissessar's ancestors originally hail from Buxar Bihar,
India Her ancestors migrated from Bihar to the Caribbean islands in the
19th century as Girmitiya labourers to Trinidad and Tobago.She graduated
from Iere High School and went on to further her studies at the
University of the West Indies, Norwood Technical College (England), and
the Hugh Wooding Law School. Consequently, she was awarded a B.A.
(Hons.), a Diploma in Education, a B.A. of Laws (Hons.) and a Legal
Education Certificate. In 2006 she obtained an Executive Masters in
Business Administration (EMBA) from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School
of Business, Trinidad.
On completion of her studies, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar entered the teaching
profession. While in England pursuing studies, she worked as a social
worker with the Church of England Childrenâ€™s Society of London. She
taught at the St. Andrew High School in Kingston, Jamaica and at the
Mona Campus in Jamaica. Later, she taught at the St. Augustine campus of
the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. At the Jamaica College
of Insurance she was also a Consultant Lecturer. Her next step was to
lecture at a Tertiary Education institution. After lecturing for a total
of six years, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar then became a full-time
Persad-Bissessar has served as Member of Parliament for the Siparia
constituency since 1995. She served as Attorney General in 1995 until
Ramesh Maharaj was able to disassociate himself from ongoing cases and
again in 2001 after Maharaj left the party. When the United National
Congress formed Government on December 22, 2000, she was sworn in as the
Minister of Education.
On April 25, 2006 she received the support of the majority of Opposition
MPs for the post of Leader of the Opposition. The position of Leader of
the Opposition was declared vacant by President George Maxwell Richards
after Basdeo Panday was convicted of failing to make an accurate
declaration to the Integrity Commission concerning a bank account held
in London.His Appeal is pending. Persad-Bissessar was subsequently
appointed Leader of the Opposition on April 26, 2006.
On January 24, 2010, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was elected Political Leader
of the United National Congress, emerging victorious over the party's
founder, Mr. Basdeo Panday. She was formally appointed Opposition Leader
on February 25, 2010, having gained the support of a majority of UNC
Persad-Bissessar took office after the victory of the People's
Partnership in the general election of 24 May 2010 defeating the
incumbent government of the People's National Movement, who had called
an early election. She was the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad
and Tobago and is also the first female Commonwealth
Chairperson-in-Office. She was succeeded as Chairperson-in-Office by
Julia Gillard with the opening of the 2011 CHOGM on 28 October 2011.
Persad-Bissessar is married to Dr. Gregory Bissessar and has one son.
In August 2011, government officials confirmed that Persad-Bissessar had
been stricken with dengue fever, and would carry out duties of the
State under medical supervision.Sources : http://www.itarhibuxar.com/Kamla%20Persad.pdf