THE University of the West Indies (The UWI) congratulates the Honourable Philip J. Pierre who was sworn in as Saint Lucia’s 12th Prime Minister on July 28. Prime Minister Pierre, an Economist and UWI alumnus, led his political party to win the country’s recent general election. The UWI community is filled with great pride to have yet another member of its alumni assuming the high office of Prime Minister in the Caribbean region.
Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles expressed his personal congratulations to Prime Minister Pierre on his “resounding victory” in the election, adding: “The citizens of Saint Lucia have demonstrated very clearly their desire for your leadership”. Vice-Chancellor Beckles also assured the new Prime Minister, the backing of The UWI and said he looks forward to an opportunity to discuss ways in which the regional university could continue to support Saint Lucia’s development.
Prime Minister Pierre holds both a Bachelor’s degree (hons) in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The UWI. Before entering politics, he began his career in teaching. He then served as a Trainee Manager, at J.Q. Charles Limited; an Audit Clerk at Coopers and Lybrand; an Audit Senior at Panell Kerr Forster and Financial Controller at Stanthur Company Limited. He was also Director of the National Research and Development Corporation (NRDF). He later moved on to become Chief Executive of his own company, Phillip J. Pierre Business Services Ltd.
He joined the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) in 1985 and entered representational politics in 1992. This is his sixth win as Parliamentary Representative in the Castries East constituency that he has represented since 1997. He has held several positions in the SLP, including Chairman and during the Dr. Kenny Anthony-led government of 2011 to 2016, he served as Deputy Prime Minister, and acted as Prime Minister on several occasions. He became Leader of the Opposition in 2016 following the resignation of the Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony.