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Hon. Tara Rivers, JP, MLA
Hon Tara Rivers, JP, MLA
Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs
Second Elected Member for West Bay
Government Admin Building, Grand Cayman KY1-9000
A qualified attorney eligible to practice law in four jurisdictions, Honourable Tara Rivers, JP, MLA holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (High Honours) in Psychology from Brandeis University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, respectively.
First elected to serve the people of West Bay as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in May 2013, Minister Rivers has achieved a number of “firsts” as a legislator thus far. Highlights of her public service record include being the first woman to be elected from her constituency in over 20 years, being the first female Cabinet Minister ever appointed from her constituency and the first female Cabinet Minister responsible for education. Minister Rivers is the first Minister of education to carry out a system wide review of the public education system and all public schools to assist in driving targeted improvements and enhancements of the system. During her tenure, academic requirements to graduate from high school (including the introduction of the High Honors category) were also implemented. In March 2014, Minister Rivers hosted and convened the first ever National Conference on Women to encourage a national discussion on issues affecting women and girls in the Cayman Islands. Under her leadership, the Ministry completed the work necessary to have the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) extended to the Cayman Islands in March 2016. She is also the first Minister responsible for labour to pilot the process of developing and adopting the first ever National Minimum Wage for the Cayman Islands. As Minister responsible for (private sector) pensions, Minister Rivers also successfully navigated the passing of the first substantive amendments to the National Pensions Law in approximately 20 years.
Past Chairperson of the United World Colleges (Cayman Islands) National Foundation, Minister Rivers was one of the youngest recipients of the United World College scholarship at age 15. She has also been an active member of a number of civic, district and community organisations over the years, including Cayman Against Substance Abuse (CASA), the CI Branch of the British Red Cross, Cayman National Cultural Foundation, and the West Bay District Heritage Committee.
As a former civil servant in the late 1990’s, Minister Rivers was the driving force behind the development and launch of the first comprehensive National Youth Policy for the Cayman Islands (2000). This blueprint for youth development initiated projects such as the youth radio programme "Youth Flex", the National Youth Commission, the Youth Parliament and other youth development programmes. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the (then) Women’s Resource Centre (now Family Resource Centre) of the Cayman Islands.