One of Jamaica’s most recognisable political figures, Lisa Hanna was a childhood TV star who was crowned Miss World 1993. Lisa Hanna became Jamaica’s youngest female Member of Parliament when she was elected in 2007 to represent South-East St. Ann. She has twice been re-elected, and is now the Treasurer of the People’s National Party (PNP) serving as the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Lisa will talk about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing Jamaica and the Caribbean and share her vision for the region’s future.
As a 14 year old, she co-hosted, for 4 years, the Jamaican TV Talk Show named “Rappin” that exposed youth views and inculcated in her empathy for all youth. She was Queens High School Head Girl and UNDP appointee as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. In 1993, she won the Miss Jamaica World and Miss World Titles.
She’s a Karate black belt and a Karate Instructor and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Communications from University of the West Indies (UWI). Her leadership qualities shone during her stint at UWI when, as a final year undergraduate, she conceptualized and raised funds to build a much needed Computer Lab for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. She also served as External Affairs Chairperson for the Student Government.
Lisa Hanna became Jamaica’s youngest female Member of Parliament when she was elected in 2007 to represent South-East St. Ann. She has twice been re-elected. She was also Chairperson of her Party’s Region One between 2008-2016 and Youth and Culture Minister from 2012-2016,
In 2013 under her leadership she formed an Inter- Ministerial Committee for Children which involved all relevant Ministries, The Office of the Children’s Advocate; and other State Agencies that worked with Children. This approach yielded great results including the separation of children from Adult Correctional Facilities and police lock ups, the introduction of the Arts For Life Programme at the South Camp Facility for Girls to teach drama, dance and art, the allocation of increased resources to help find missing children under the Ananda Alert System, a 50% reduction in violence in schools under the Safe Schools Programme, more children being removed from state care to family environments, the removal of children being locked up for uncontrollable behaviour, the introduction of the Smiles Mobile Unit to help children with counseling, additional resources to build child friendly spaces at police stations across the country, the introduction of the Children’s Advisory Panel and the implementation of The Keating Report to name a few.
The UN acknowledged these achievements and as a result, Marta Santos Pais, UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Children and Violence travelled to Jamaica to host the first ever regional conference discuss best practices and solutions for countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
By 2014 Jamaica recorded solid progress at UNICEF, especially with finding solutions to persistent problems involving child rights. Jamaica’s success, particularly in the way we turned around our approaches to children in lockups and correctional facilities, resonated globally through the walls of the UN. From our interventions and programmes, Jamaica moved up 52 places in the most recent UNICEF Kids Rights Index, to be ranked 51 out of 163 countries globally.
As Minister, she also spearheaded the successful lobby for Jamaica’s first ever election to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee leading to Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains’ dedication as an official World Heritage Site.
She is Treasurer of the People’s National Party (PNP). She currently serves as the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
She’s Married to Richard Lake and is Mother to Alexander Panton.