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She completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Union Institute in Miami, and also holds Certificates in Public Relations and Advanced Management. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the Union Institute.
Her political career began in 1976, when she was first elected to the Jamaican parliament for the first time, representing the district of St. Andrew. From 1978 to 2006, she was the vice-President of the PNP (People’s National Party).
From 1989-1993, Simpson served as Minister of Labour, Welfare and Sports. Simpson-Miller became the Minister of Local Government and Sport since October 2002. She was Minister of Labour and Welfare from 1993 to 1995, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Sports from 1995 to February 2000, and Minister of Tourism and Sports from February 2000 to October 2002. Her ministerial portfolios have been characterised by allegations of mismanagement and corruption.
On 26 February 2006, she received the most votes in an internal party vote to elect a new leader to replace the outgoing Prime Minister P. J. Patterson. She became the first female head of government of Jamaica and the third in the Anglophone Caribbean.
She narrowly lost the 2007 elections, initiatlly refusing to ocncede defeat. In July 2008,Simpson-Miller was challenged for the Presidency of the People’s National Party by her former rival, Dr.Peter Phillips. The election was held among the party’s delegates on September 20. She has been re-elected as the head of the PNP for her second consecutive year, defeating Phillips by an even wider margin that that of the previous election.
On 29 May 2006 she was invested with the Jamaican Order of the Nation, giving her (and her husband) the style “The Most Honourable”.
Prime Minister Simpson-Miller is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders , an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.