TTO | Mar 21, 2023

The UWI celebrates alumna Christine Kangaloo on becoming the seventh president of T&T

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Christine Kangaloo, newly inaugurated president of Trinidad and Tobago.

Christine Kangaloo, an alumnus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) was on Monday (March 20) officially sworn in as the new Head of State of Trinidad and Tobago.

With her inauguration, Kangaloo has become the twin-island republic’s seventh president.

“The UWI celebrates with great pride alumna, Christine Kangaloo on her appointment to the esteemed office of President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” the university said in a release dated March 20.

“Her Excellency, President Kangaloo, who was inaugurated on March 20,2023 to serve as the seventh President of Trinidad and Tobago also has the honour of being only the second woman to hold the position of Head of State. She was preceded by President Paula May Weekes, another UWI alumna and the first woman President of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies. (Photo: The UWI)

Extending congratulations on behalf of the regional UWI community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said: “Regionally and internationally our alumni continue to excel in every sphere of public life, and we celebrate the impact of our alumni every day. It is however a special occasion when one of our own ascends to the highest seats of leadership in the region.”

Sir Hillary continued: “As we celebrate our 75th anniversary and reflect on our rich legacy of leading Caribbean development, this is the kind of occasion that reinforces the need for The UWI to continue rooted, ready and rising.”

Kangaloo graduated from The UWI and the Hugh Wooding Law School and was admitted to practise law in 1985.

“Since 2003, all Heads of State of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago have had strong ties with The UWI. One former pro vice-chancellor and campus principal and three alumni have served in the office,” stated the university.

An accomplished legal mind and parliamentarian, Kangaloo has made history before as the only person to serve both as president and vice president of the Senate.

Over her career, she has also served in a wide range of legislative and ministry portfolios including Opposition Senator, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister of Legal Affairs and Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education.

Paula-Mae Weeks, immediate former president of Trinidad and Tobago.

Kangaloo has acted in the position of president on several occasions, however she was formally nominated by Prime Minister Keith Rowley on January 23.

At the Meeting of the Electoral College, two nominees were presented – Kangaloo, as the Government’s nominee, and Israel Raja Khan, as the Opposition’s nominee, to vie for presidency.

Members were invited to cast their secret ballot and a total of 73 ballots were cast. Kangaloo secured the post with 48 votes to Khan’s 22. Three of the ballots were spoilt.


While delivering her first address in her new role as Trinidad president, Kangaloo thanked Weekes for the guidance she had given her during the transitioning period.

“I want to thank President Weekes for the kindness and the empathy that she has shown to me, especially over the past few weeks, in helping me to prepare, not just for today’s ceremony, but also for the term of office that lies before me. Madam President, you have my deepest and my sincere gratitude.”

Kangaloo said one of her aims is to continue the efforts begun by her predecessors in working with communities across the country to steer the youth in the ‘right direction’.

“This is another aspect of the presidential future I envision – a future in which the Office of the President continues to collaborate with communities to explore, and advocate for, means by which our young people can be steered towards endeavours that are glorious and life-giving, and away from the allure of antisocial behaviours,” Kangaloo said.


What To Read Next