The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, born January 14, 1953, is one of the most accomplished and distinguished statesmen to have served as Prime Minister within the Caribbean Region. Sworn in as the Second Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis immediately following the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party’s impressive election victory in July 1995, Dr. Douglas has made history by being the first Caribbean Leader to have served four consecutive terms in the highest office of his country as Prime Minister.
Dr. Denzil Douglas’ political career began at an early age in 1979 when he became the first Young Labour Representative to sit on the National Executive of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party. In 1987 he was elected Deputy Chairman of the Party and in March 1989, he was elected as the Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 6 (Newton Ground to Harris’) and appointed Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. In May of that year, he was elected National Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP). Over the next five years, Dr. Douglas restructured and modernized the SKNLP, paving the way for the landslide victory in the 1995 elections, when the SKNLP won 7 of the 8 seats on St. Kitts.
On July 4th, 1995, Dr. Douglas was sworn in as Prime Minister, and began his legacy by creating a diversified economy based on agriculture, tourism, international financial services, information and communication services, and light manufacturing enclave, with a massive land empowerment program and expansion in the housing, education, and health sectors.
In the Election of 2000, after winning all eight of the seats on St. Kitts, Dr. Douglas was re-appointed as Prime Minister, in the 11-seat National Assembly of the Federal Parliament. An early election was called in 2004, and Dr Denzil Douglas once again led the SKNLP to secure a mandate at the polls, winning seven of the eight seats on St. Kitts and was again chosen to serve athird term as Prime Minister of the Federation. The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas after a fourth consecutive victory at the polls, winning six of the eight seats on St. Kitts, in January 2010, forged a working relationship with Nevis with the Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs serving as a Member of the Federal Cabinet. Dr. Douglas and his administration has been responsible for taking St. Kitts and Nevis from a position of backwardness and insignificance to the number one economy within the OECS region by 2014.
The Rt. Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, affectionately known as “Dougie”, has a stellar record of service to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and with his unique brand of leadership has tirelessly provided progressive contributions to his country, the Caribbean region, and the world. He presently serves as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis.
Under the steady and capable leadership of Dr. Douglas and the astute and innovative policies of the former Labour administration, St. Kitts and Nevis was able to achieve dramatic social and economic transformation and modernization that took the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to unprecedented levels of prosperity and improved standards of living.
Such innovative policies included:
⦿ The rebranding of the Citizenship by Investment programme into a platinum, global brand
⦿ The pioneering of a second Housing and Education Revolution
⦿ Transformation of the Tourism industry through increased airlift and construction of new hotels
⦿ Fiscal consolidation that resulted in the national debt being slashed in half from 189% of GDP to 78% of GDP
⦿ The return of the economy to robust growth of 7% for 2013 and 2014 and being the first country within the Caribbean to recover from the impacts of the global economic and financial crisis in just three years.
During his twenty years in office, Dr. Douglas served as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) spokesperson on HIV/AIDS, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and other health related matters in the CARICOM quasi-Cabinet. He also played an active leadership role in many regional and international organisations such as:
⦿ Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
⦿ Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
⦿ Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
⦿ Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
⦿ Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
⦿ Organisation of American States (OAS)
⦿ International Monetary Fund (IMF)
⦿ World Bank
⦿ United Nations
⦿ Small States Forum of the World Bank
Dr. Douglas is a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Along with being praised by former United States Presidents George H.W. Bush and Robert “Bill” Clinton for his leadership role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, he was also the recipient of many regional and international awards including but not limited to:
⦿ The Ghandi-King-Ikeda Peace Award
⦿ The “Legacy Award” from the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies in New York;
⦿ The Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon from the Republic of China on Taiwan
⦿ The Order of the Liberator (First Class) from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;
⦿ The Global Award at the 15th Annual Trumpet Awards at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada.
⦿ The 2013 South-South Award for Renewable Energy Innovation and Information Communication Technology.
In October 2013, he led a high-level group of Commonwealth Ministers of Finance in a meeting with Heads of leading International Financial Institutions in Washington, DC and made a case for the urgent need to address the debt and financing challenges of Small States. Prime Minister Douglas was also the spokesman on HIV/AIDS, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and other health related matters in CARICOM quasi-Cabinet, thus earning him much praise and recognition for his leadership abilities.
Among the Papers that he delivered are:
“Status of the [U.S.] President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR]”, US/Caribbean Health Officials Conference, Bridgetown Barbados, January 2011
“Assessment Progress; Political Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS”, United Nations Headquarters, June 2011
“Charting the Future of Health and Development in the Caribbean”, Second Caribbean Public Health Agency [CARPHA] Partners Meeting, in Washington, DC, June 2011
“Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS”, Tenth Meeting of Regional Coordinating Mechanism, St. KittsNevis, April 2008
“Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and the Caribbean”, Caribbean Community Summit, Trinidad & Tobago, September 2007
“Reducing HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination”, CARICOM/ UK Conference, St. Kitts-Nevis, November 2004
“Accelerating the Response to HIV/AIDS”, World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC, June 2003
“The Multi-Level Approach Toward HIV / AIDS”, Trinidad & Tobago, October 2001
“Health Issues in the Caribbean”, Opening Session, Mona Academic Conference, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, August 2001
“Mounting an Effective National Response to HIV/AIDS”, Presentation of National AIDS Programme Draft Situation, and Response Analysis, October 2000
“Medicine 2000 and Beyond – The Intersection of Knowledge and Practice”, University of the West Indies Medical Alumni Conference, St. Kitts-Nevis, November 2000.
Dr Denzil Douglas is also the Co-Author of two books: “Coming of Age: Speeches by Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis – The First Two Terms, July 1995 – October 2004” and “For The Good That We Can Do”
In November 2011 Dr Douglas was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council, thus earning the prefixes “Right Honourable” to his name.
In February 2015, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas resigned as the second Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis after the SKNLP lost the election that year. Since then, he has beenpursuing new Consultancy Initiatives related to Global Development Issues (especially for economies in transition) and Advocacy support on Global Public Health Issues.
Dr. Douglas has served the people of Newton Ground, St. Paul’s, Parson’s Village, Lynches, Pogson, Saddlers and Harris’ and the entire Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis with dedication and commitment, as a medical doctor, parliamentary representative and a remarkable leader.