Keynote Speaker

Dr. Glenda P. Simms

Dr. Glenda P. Simms was born at Stanmore in the parish of St. Elizabeth in Jamaica. After graduating from Bethlehem Teacher’s College, she taught at Vauxhall Senior School, Vere Technical High and Cornwall College.

In 1966, she migrated to Canada, and there distinguished herself in the fields of Education and the Public Service. She received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Alberta, and a Certificate in the Program for Leaders in Development from Harvard University, USA.

During her time in Canada, Dr. Simms received numerous accolades, including four honorary doctorates from the University of Alberta, Queens University, the University of Manitoba and The University of Western Ontario; the Black Achievement Award for contributions in public policy; the Inter Amicus Human Rights Award from McGill University; and a Citation for Citizenship from the Canadian Government.

In 1990, she was appointed president of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of women, and six years later joined the Jamaican government services as Executive Director of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs until August 2005.

Dr. Simms is a staunch advocate for the elimination of discriminatory practices in society, and lectures extensively – locally and internationally – on a variety of feminist, educational, social and political issues. 

As an author of numerous publications, an advisor to governments, a gender specialist, researcher and projects leader, Dr. Simms has contributed immensely to the implementation of important social and political initiatives in Canada, the Philippines, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica. She has been an inspiration and a positive example for women, men and minorities by the standards of her excellence, leadership and achievements.

Currently, Dr. Simms is working as a private consultant and gender specialist and has worked in the position of Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Jamaica on Gender Issues and Women’s Affairs. She also was appointed as an expert on the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women at the United Nations for four years, from January 2005 to December 2008. This body of independent experts from around the world monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Dr. Glenda P. Simms delivering her keynote motivational speech 'How We Can Become Architects of Change'