Jennifer M. Smith

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Dame Jennifer Meredith Smith, DBE, JP, DHumL, MP[1] (born 1947) was the premier of Bermuda from 1998 until 2003, the first premier who was not a member of the United Bermuda Party. She is currently Bermuda's Minister of Education.[2]

Smith was also the first female Progressive Labour Party Minister of Education, the first and so far only leader of the PLP to lead the party to win two consecutive general elections and the second woman to serve as premier.

Smith was appointed to the Senate of Bermuda in 1980, and was elected to the House of Assembly of Bermuda in 1989 as a member of the Progressive Labour Party. She was elected deputy party leader in 1994, and succeeded to the leadership two years later upon the death of L. Frederick Wade.

Smith led her party to victory in parliamentary elections in November 1998, in which the United Bermuda Party, which had dominated elections since autonomy was gained in 1968, suffered an unprecedented defeat.

The Progressive Labour Party again won parliamentary elections in July 2003, but less than a week later, Smith was forced to resign as premier following a revolt within her own party. She was replaced by Alex Scott, but then was elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Smith 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.

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in 1947 in Bermuda, the daughter of a bartender. She was raised as a member of the African Methodist Episcopal church. She exhibited an interest in art from an early age, and later enrolled at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, from which she earned an Associate's degree in 1970. Upon returning to Bermuda, she began work as a political reporter and editor for the Bermuda Recorder newspaper.


Smith was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005.[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Constituency #1 St. George's North - Jennifer Smith". The Royal Gazette Electronic Version. 25 November 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2010. Dame Jennifer Smith, DBE, JP, DHumL, MP 
  2. ^ "Premier Cox Appoints New Cabinet". 1 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010. Former Premier Jennifer Smith returned to the front benches as Bermuda’s Education Minister 
  3. ^ "Birthday Honours: Diplomatic and Overseas". The Independent. 11 June 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2010. Smith, The Hon Jennifer Meredith, MP, For publ serv, Bermuda.