Simpson-Miller, Portia

Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Portia Simpson-Miller, 1945–, Jamaican political leader, prime minister of Jamaica (2006–7, 2012–). A member of the People's National party (PNP), she was first elected to parliament in 1976. After the PNP returned to power in 1989, she held a variety of ministerial portfolios, including sport (1989–93, 1995–2006), labor and welfare (1989–2000; labor and social security after 1995), tourism (2000–2002), and local government (2002–6). A popular figure, she was elected leader of the PNP in 2006 and shortly thereafter succeeded the retiring P. J. Patterson as prime minister, becoming the first woman to head Jamaica's government. The following year, however. the PNP narrowly lost control of parliament. Simpson-Miller and the PNP returned to power in 2012 after winning the Dec., 2011, elections.