Paula-Mae Weekes

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Paula-Mae Weekes
Weekes in 2019
6th President of Trinidad and Tobago
In office
19 March 2018 – 20 March 2023
Prime MinisterKeith Rowley
Preceded byAnthony Carmona
Succeeded byChristine Kangaloo
Personal details
Born (1958-12-23) 23 December 1958 (age 65)
Port of Spain, Colony of Trinidad and Tobago
Political partyIndependent
Alma mater

Paula-Mae Weekes ORTT (born 23 December 1958)[1] is a Trinidadian politician and jurist who was the sixth president of Trinidad and Tobago from 2018 to 2023. She is the first female President of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the second female head of state in Trinidad and Tobago after Elizabeth II and the second female president of African descent in the Americas following Ertha Pascal-Trouillot.[2][3][4]


Weekes attended Bishop Anstey High School, the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree, and the Hugh Wooding Law School; she was called to the Bar in 1982.[5][6] After graduation she worked in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for 11 years, before going into private practice in 1993. She was appointed to the judiciary in 1996 and to the Court of Appeals in 2005, where she served until her retirement in 2016.[7] She served briefly as acting Chief Justice in 2012 after acting Chief Justice Wendell Kangaloo was injured in a car accident.[6] In September 2016 Weekes was appointed to the appeals court in the Turks and Caicos.[8]


On 5 January 2018, Weekes, then a judge of the Turks and Caicos Islands Court of Appeal, was put forward as a presidential candidate by the People's National Movement government of Prime Minister Keith Rowley in hopes of reaching a consensus with the United National Congress-led parliamentary opposition of Kamla Persad-Bissessar, which later endorsed her nomination. Her proposal for the post of president was also lauded by political analysts. As Weekes was the only nominated candidate on election day, she was deemed elected without the need for a vote.[9]

Life after politics[edit]

In 2023, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres appointed Weekes as co-chair of the United Nations High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession, alongside Kersti Kaljulaid.[10]

Other activities[edit]


  1. ^ "The President's Profile". The Office of the President. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Paula Mae Weekes, la nouvelle sensation du monde politique caraïbéen". Dofen News (in French). 18 June 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Caribbean Elections – Learning Resources: Electoral Systems in the Caribbean". Archived from the original on 16 March 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  4. ^ "Paula Mae Weekes (1958- ) • BlackPast". BlackPast. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Paula-Mae Weekes | World Leaders Forum". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Paula Mae Weekes in a nutshell – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  7. ^ What do we know about Paula-Mae Weekes?, retrieved 13 March 2018
  8. ^ "CJ of Turks and Caicos hurt over losing Weekes". The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Trinidad Express". Justice Paula Mae-Weekes an excellent choice. 6 January 2018. Archived from the original on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ United Nations Establishes Teaching Profession High-Level Panel to Build on Outcomes of Transforming Education Summit United Nations, press release of 19 June 2023.
  11. ^ Members Council of Women World Leaders.
Political offices
Preceded by President of Trinidad and Tobago
Succeeded by