Dr. Jennifer Geerlings-Simons
Chairperson of the National Assembly of Suriname
Jennifer Simons (born 5 September 1953) is a Surinamese politician. On 30 June 2010 she was elected as Chairperson of the National Assembly of Suriname with 26 out of 50 votes. Simons is the second female chairman of the Surinamese Parliament.
Early life and education
Jennifer Simons was born on 5 September 1953 in Paramaribo , Suriname , and grew up in a family of five, with mother and father worked as a nurse in the army .
From childhood she longed to become a doctor and after completion of medical studies at the faculty of health sciences at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname , she was in this discipline working as a physician , university professor and as a policy maker in the Ministry of Health in areas such as HIV and Dermatology .
Her involvement in education at the university led to a passion for education innovation and development , where she was co-founder of Foundation EDUCONS an NGO promoted ICT in schools education , distance learning and the use of computers, software, and Surinamese own digital teaching materials in 1999 . During this initiative, more than 40,000 people were trained in basic and advanced ICT skills . She introduced himself, after having obtained in a distance learning certificate this method in Suriname .
Simons was first elected member of the National assembly in 1996, representing the district of Paramaribo. She served as one of the vice-chairpersons of the National Democratic Party, which was founded by former revolutionist of Suriname Desi Bouterse. She was leader of the parliamentary fraction from 2000 until 2006.
After becoming Speaker of the House, Dr. Simons initiated the Institutional Strengthening Program for Parliament and the Association of Parliamentarians for the Development of Children and Youth. She is considered a national icon for independent women, as she is an inspiring visionary and firm believer in self-determination and life-long learning.
In inter-parliamentary organizations, she currently works as Vice President of the Group of Women Parliamentarians Parlamericas ( 2012-2014 ).
She also serves on the board of COPA (The Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas).
On June 29, 1981, Simons married Glenn Geerlings. They have three children: Edward, Jonathan, and Naomi. Simons is a dermatologist.