20 Global Power Women of Color to Watch in 2016

Entertainment to Politics to Business: 20 Global Power Women of Color to Watch in 2016

JAMAICA: Portia Simpson Miller

Simpson Miller serves as prime minister and minister of defense, development, information and sports in a country rich in culture and resources but challenged by high unemployment rates, poverty, and national debt.

She is the first head of government in Jamaican history to formally endorse civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens during an election campaign–a decision that led to major backlash–and has faced criticism for the government’s decisions in combating economic difficulties, including a four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) providing a support package of $932 million, and another with the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) programs providing $510 million each to facilitate the country’s economic reform agenda.

Other issues on her agenda are building alliances with the U.S. for energy-related technologies, increasing the reach and bankability of the island’s tourism industry, trade expansion within countries part of CARICOM, and security and visa issues related to the drug trade.