President of Guyana
Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana (since Dec 3, 2011)
Mr. Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar was born on the 22nd October, 1950 in the village of Caria Caria on the Essequibo River, to Mr. Sam Ramotar and Ms. Olive Constantine. His father was a Timber Grant operator and his mother a housewife. He has eight (8) siblings.
Mr. Ramotar, an economist by training, received his primary education at Caria Caria Congregational School and the St. Andrew’s Primary School. He later pursued studies at the Government Technical Institute and went on to become a graduate of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Guyana. He also pursued studies in what was then the Former Soviet Union.
He began his working career on his father’s timber grant. Between 1966 and 1975 he worked at GIMPEX, the commercial arm of the PPP. In 1975 he was appointed Manager of Freedom House, a position that he held for eight years. From 1983 to 1988, he served as a member of the Editorial Council of the magazine ‘Problems of Peace and Socialism’ and as the International Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) between 1988 and 1993.
Having joined the PPP in 1967 he has been in the leadership of the party since 1979 when he was elected to the Central Committee. He became a member of the Executive Committee of the PPP in 1983 and assumed the position of Executive Secretary of the party one year after the PPP was restored to office in 1992. He became the General Secretary in March 1997 when Dr. Cheddi Jagan passed away, a position he holds today. Mr. Ramotar has had extensive experience within the party and has represented the party on numerous occasions overseas. He has published a number of articles and is a regular columnist for the mirror Newspaper. He was also a member of the ACP- EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and a Bureau member of that organization and a serving member of Guyana’s National Assembly since 1992. Ramotar also served on several Corporate Boards.
Mr. Ramotar is the husband of Deolatchmee Ramotar and the father of three children.
Bharrat Jagdeo, Former President of Guyana
Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo became President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana on August 11, 1999. Until then, he was the Minister of Finance.
His Excellency, Bharrat Jagdeo was born on January 23, 1964 into a working class family at Unity Village, East Coast of Demerara. His father worked on the railway service once operated by the Transport and Harbours Department and then the Marine Section. His mother tended to a garden to help provide for their six children.
Unity/Lancaster Villages, where he grew up, were and still are predominantly fishing and farming villages. The area truly represents one where the two major ethnic groups live in harmony. This fact would have undoubtedly, had a lasting influence on his social and political outlook. He is unapologetically committed to building national and racial harmony.
From an early age, he became exposed to the political realities of Guyana’s post-Independence. The countrywide marches and cycle parade protests staged by the PPP passed through his village. These events allowed for face to face contact with the struggle for freedom and democracy. His mother would offer food and items to those involved in marches. She even joined the picket line. This political activism she bequeathed him.
Mr. Jagdeo has been involved in politics and public affairs for more than two decades. He entered politics at the tender age of 13, when he joined the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO), the youth arm of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). Three years later, he qualified for membership in the PPP. Subsequently, he was elected to leadership positions in the PPP District and Regional Committees of Upper East Coast.
Mr. Jagdeo’s performance at Primary and Secondary School was commendable. He attended the Bygeval Secondary School and was one of the first students at this school to have secured passes a the GCE Advanced Level. Mr. Jagdeo then joined the staff of the Cove and John High School, where he taught Geography and History.
In 1984, he was awarded a scholarship and successfully read for a Master’s Degree in Economics in Moscow.
In 1990, he returned home and served as an Economist in the State Planning Secretariat.
After the historic PPP/Civic victory of October 5, 1992, Mr. Jagdeo was named as Special Advisor to the then PPP/Civic Minister of Finance.
Hard work and dedication have always paid off for Mr. Jagdeo. His skills as an economist and his consistency of purpose, caught the attention of former PPP Leader and President of Guyana, Dr. Cheddi Jagan. In October 1993, he was named Junior Minister of Finance. Several weeks later, he was elected by the 24th Congress of the PPP to sit on the highest decision making body – the Central Committee. Subsequently, he was elevated to the Executive Committee of the Party.
In May 1995, the late President Cheddi Jagan would have been more impressed by Mr. Jagdeo’s talent and leadership qualities when he was, named Senior Minister of Finance, the youngest person in Guyana’s short history to have been appointed to the post.
Immediately, after his appointment as Senior Minister of Finance, many political observers deemed him a “rising star” in the PPP. He was already being talked about as a future leader of the PPP. But he shied away from commenting on his political aspirations or ambition. He was just content to deal with issues pertaining to the economy and to make Guyana a better place for the present and future generations.
Mr. Jagdeo was entrusted with the monumental task of coordinating efforts to craft a National Development Strategy. His quality of leadership of this process continues to received applause. The Atlanta-based Carter Centre, headed by former US President Jimmy Carter, invited him to tour several African states to share his experience and talk about Guyana’s economic model.
On several occasions, he has acted as Prime Minister of the Republic and overlooked other government ministries, when his Cabinet colleagues were out of the country attending to State business.
His knowledge of matters affecting the State has generated tremendous respect from foes and friends alike.
He served as a Director on a number of Boards including National Bank of Industry and Commerce and the Caribbean Development Bank and Guyana’s Governor to the IMF, World Bank, CDB, IDB and the National Authorising Officer to the European Union.
Over the years, Mr. Jagdeo has earned the reputation as a “go-getter”, “hands on” Minister; someone who is willing to go to the distance to fight corruption and to ensure clean and honest governance.
Mr. Jagdeo continues to win plaudits from local and overseas groups for continuing the campaign for debt relief for Guyana and all heavily indebted countries.
On July 26, 1998 he married Varshni Singh.
His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo was elected as President on March 19, 2001.
He is one of the leading advocates for the CSME (Caribbean Single Market and Economy) to come on stream 1 st January 2006 which will have significant benefits for the people of the region.
Since becoming President of Guyana in March 2001, he has introduced Cabinet Outreaches in all ten Regions for closer interactions with the communities taking the Government to the people.
He also makes additional outreaches areas across the country with his Ministers and other officials to get at first hand the concerns and problems of the people and listen to their suggestions.
During Guyana’s first natural disaster in January 2005 when the large populous parts of the country were flooded owing to exceptionally high rainfall, he led a successful national response to bring assistance to the large numbers affected and organized rehabilitation efforts.
On September 24 th 2005 he was elected to the very important position of Chairman of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).