About Tara Rivers

Honourable Tara Rivers, JP, MLA – Biography

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 accomplished 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, the first female from her constituency to be appointed as a Cabinet Minister, and the first female Cabinet Minister responsible for education.

Honourable Tara Rivers is the first Minister of education to carry out a system-wide review of the public education system and all public schools with the aim to produce 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 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 legislated National Minimum Wage for the Cayman Islands. As Minister responsible for pensions in the private sector, she successfully navigated the passing of the first substantive amendments to the National Pensions Law in approximately 20 years.

At the age of fifteen, Minister Rivers was one of the youngest recipients of the United World College scholarship and Past Chairperson of the United World Colleges National Foundation for the Cayman Islands. 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 a fundamental contributor to the development and launch of the first comprehensive National Youth Policy for the Cayman Islands (2000). This was the initial 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.