Wendell Mottley

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Wendell Mottley
Personal information
Full nameWendell Adrian Mottley
NationalityTrinidad and Tobago
Born (1941-07-02) 2 July 1941 (age 81)
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
EducationQueen's Royal College
Yale University
University of Cambridge
OccupationEconomist and Politician
Medal record
Representing Trinidad and Tobago
Men's athletics
Silver medal – second place 1964 Tokyo 400 m
Bronze medal – third place 1964 Tokyo 4x400 m relay

Wendell Adrian Mottley ORTT (born 2 July 1941) is a Trinidad and Tobago economist, politician and athlete.[1] Mottley served as Senator and member of the House of Representatives with the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament and was Minister of Finance from 1991 to 1995.[2] He was a Ivy League sprinter, winning two Olympic medals in 1964.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Mottley was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He was the youngest of four brothers who were all runners.[3] As a youngster, he began to run in competitions sponsored local oil companies.[4] He attended Queen's Royal College, an elite public high school in Port of Spain.[3] While competing in a high school track meet, the coach from Loughborough University suggested Mottley would be of interest to his friend who coached track at Yale University.[4]

Mottley attended Yale University, graduating in economics in 1964.[3] While at Yale, he made the dean's list, was captain of the track team, and joined St. Anthony Hall.[5][3][4] He was the first person of color to join St. Anthony Hall, nationwide.[6]

He earned a masters in economics from the University of Cambridge.[5] While at Cambridge, Mottley was captain of the track team and became lifelong friends the Oxford team's captain, later the novelist Jeffrey Archer.[3][7]


Mottley was a sprinter for Yale University track team.[3] His coach was Bob Giegengack, also the track coach for Team USA in the 1964 Summer Olympics.[4] In addition to sprinting, Giegengack had Mottley run cross country, "which he hated."[4]

Mottley participated in three Heptagonal Games Championships between 1962–1964, winning the 440y each year.[3] In the mid 1960s, Mottley was the fastest man in Yale University and Ivy League history.[3] He still is the record holder in the 500m/600y at Yale.[3] Mottley also set indoor world records for the 400-yard, 500-yard, and 600-yard distances in 1964.[3] His personal best time of 45.2 stands as the Ivy League record for the 440y/400 meter event..[3] One writer notes, "In his time he was not only the best long sprinter in the Ivy League but also one of the best in the world."[3] In 1964 he set indoor world records for the 400-yard, 500-yard, and 600-yard distances.[3]

At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Mottley won a silver medal for the 400 meters and a bronze medal for the 4 x 400 meters relay, representing Trinidad and Tobago.[8][1] After the race where he won the silver medal, Mottley says Giegengack gave him a salute.[4]

After the Olympics, he ran track for Cambridge University and competed in the European circuit.[3] He also took two gold medals at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, winning in the 440 yards and the 4×440 yards relay events.[5][9] The relay team set the Commonwealth Games record for the 4x440y.[3]



Mottley was elected as Senator to the Trinidad and Tobago 2nd Republican Parliament from 1981–1986, and was appointed Minister of Housing and Resettlement from 1981–1985.[5][10] He was then appointed Minister of Industry and Commerce, serving from 1985–1986.[10]

As a member of the People's National Party, he was elected to the House of Representatives for the 4th Republication Parliament from 1992–1995.[5][2][10] From 1992–1994, he was Minister of Finance.[10] He was responsible for the flotation of the Trinidad and Tobago dollar.[11] He also founded the Civilian Conservation Corps in Trinidad and Tobago.[12]He was Minister of Tourism from 1994–1995.[10]

In the early 2000s, Mottley was the leader of the Citizens' Alliance, a dissolved minor political party in Trinidad and Tobago.[13] His party received 5,955 votes (1%) and captured no seats in the 2002 general election.[14]


After Cambridge, Mottley worked in London, before returning to Trinidad and Tobago where he developed a career in housing development.[3][7] In 1996, Mottley became an investment banker at Credit Suisse in New York, serving as managing director and senior advisor over the course of fifteen years.[15][9][16]

Mottley was a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, a United States-based think tank, where he contributed Trinidad and Tobago--industrial policy 1959–2008 : a Historical and Contemporary Analysis in 2008.[17]

Later, he was chairman of the board of the Unit Trust Corporation, the Caribbean's largest mutual fund company.[5][9]

He serves on the board of the Pan-American Life Insurance Group from 2013 to his retirement in 2021.[9][16] He had reached the board's mandatory retirement ago of eighty.[16]


Mottey served on the board of World Wildlife Fund and the Asa Wright Beard Foundation, a Caribbean environmentalist group.[3] He is also a member of the Yale School of Forestry leadership council.[3]


On November 1, 2018, Mottley received the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) for his contribution to national development and public service.[18][9]


  1. ^ a b "Wendell Mottley | Profile". World Athletes. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Former Ministers of Finance - Ministry of Finance, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago". 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Wendell Mottley '64 remembers "The Miracle Team"". Classmates. Yale University News. doi:10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-02/kbarrett/p41. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Tomizawa, Roy (1 August 2021). "Two-Time 1964 Tokyo Olympic Medalist Wendell Mottley: How Chance and Discipline Can Change a Life". The Olympians. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Alonzo, Geisha (24 September 2018). "ORTT awarded to Wendell Mottley". www.guardian.co.tt. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  6. ^ Speth, James Gustave (2014). Angels by the River: A Memoir. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60358-585-9.
  7. ^ a b "Wendell Mottley". Olympedia. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Wendell Adrian Mottley". Olympics. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Pan-American Life Insurance Group Celebrates Wendell Mottley for Receiving Trinidad and Tobago's Highest National Award". BusinessWire. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Members of Past Parliaments: The Honourable Wendell Mottley, MP". Parliament Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  11. ^ Aleaxander, Gail (1 November 2018). "Mottley: T&T at tipping point like mid-90s". www.guardian.co.tt. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  12. ^ Waithe, Melanie (31 July 2019). "Keeping busy with the CCC". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Mottley did not stick it out", Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, 13 December 2008.
  14. ^ "TRINIDADANDTOBAGONEWS.COM - 2002 Election Results". www.trinidadandtobagonews.com. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Diversified Financial Services - People". Bloomberg. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "Wendell Mottley, Former Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Finance, to Retire from Pan-American Life Insurance Group's Board of Directors". www.yahoo.com. 20 May 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  17. ^ Mottley, Wendell. (2008). Trinidad and Tobago--industrial policy 1959–2008 : a historical and contemporary analysis. Kingston [Jamaica]: Ian Randle Publishers. ISBN 978-976-637-702-1. OCLC 854586053.
  18. ^ Christopher, Peter (25 September 2018). "Mottley misses ceremony". Trinidad Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2018.

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Flagbearer for  Trinidad and Tobago
Tokyo 1964
Succeeded by