Leaders » Prime Ministers » KAMLA PERSAD-BISSESSAR
|Full name||: Kamla Persad-Bissessar|
|Alias||: Kamla Persad-Bissessar|
|Country||: Trinidad & Tobago|
|Animals||: The Dragon|
|Husband||: Gregory Bissessar|
|Children||: Kris Bissessar|
|Activists||: Prime Ministers , Political Leaders|
Kamla Persad-Bissessar is Trinidad and Tobago’s seventh Prime Minister and the first female to serve as the country’s Prime Minister. Beginning May 26, 2010, she has served as the Prime Minister and as the political leader of the United National Congress, a coalition formed among three of the country’s political parties. She was the first woman to serve as the country’s Attorney General, the first female Chairperson-in-Office and the first female Leader of the Opposition. She began her political career in Trinidad and Tobago as a Member of Parliament, representing the Siparia constituency. In addition, she has also served as the Minister of Education. While she largely keeps her family and personal life private, she is known for speaking on themes of religion and spirituality with an unusually ecumenical perspective. Aside from her achievements as a woman in office, she is widely noted for championing programs to improve her country’s educational system. She is also presented, particularly in campaigns, as a politician who is from a humble, rural background, but who has also pursued a high level of education, attending top schools in the United States
Upon graduation from high school, she pursued further study, first at the University of the West Indies and later at Norwood Technical College (in England), culminating in a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Education.
Although she was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Columbia University in New York, she instead pursued a degree in law at Hugh Wooding Law School, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in law.
After completing her studies, she began working as a high school teacher, both in Trinidad and Tobago and in Jamaica.
Between 1987 and 1991, she worked as the alderman of the St. Patrick County Council.
On 1 November 1994, she took the Oath of Allegiance to represent the United National Congress in Opposition.
Beginning in 1995, Persad-Bissessar became a Member of Parliament.
From 27 November 1995 until 2 February 1996, she also briefly served as the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.
On October 22, 1999, she assumed the role of the Minister of Education for Trinidad and Tobago - a position she held until 2001.
On October 5, 2001, she was sworn as the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago for the second time - this time, she remained in office for a little over two months.
In 2002, the United National Congress returned to the Opposition and, four years later, Persad-Bissessar would serve as the Leader of the Opposition on her party’s behalf.
In 2006, she received an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration from a Trinidadian university, the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.
On 25 February 2010, she was again appointed as the Leader of Opposition.
On 26 May 2010, Persad-Bissessar became the Prime Minister - the first female in history to hold the office of the PM in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Persad-Bissessar was born on 22 April 1952, in Siparia, a rural community in southern Trinidad.
As a young girl, she took interest in technology and in reading novels.
She began her studies in 1957 at the rural Mohess Road Hindu School, later studying at Erin Road Presbyterian School and Sibaria Union Presbyterian School.
She graduated from Iere High School, one of the five Presbyterian secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar is married to Dr. Gregory Bissessar and together, they have one son.
At 25, she became one of the youngest lecturers to teach at UWI, Mona campus.
During her studies at Hugh Wooding Law School, she won prizes for Most Outstanding Student and Best Overall Performance.
During her work as Minister of Education, she successfully established a program of universal secondary education throughout Trinidad and Tobago, creating 32 new schools and changing the standardized entrance test to suit more modernized and appropriate assessment standards.
Perhaps her most widely known achievement is to serve as the first female Prime Minister in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.