Her Excellency Sir Cornelius Alvin Smith, GCMG
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Sir Cornelius A. Smith is the current Governor-General of the Bahamas.
Early life and education
Sir Cornelius A. Smith was born on Long Island on 7 April 1937 to Silvanus and Susan Smith. He was an educator by profession, then held a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Miami, and had substantial careers in both the public and private sectors.
As a community and political activist, Cornelius Smith entered front-line politics in the early seventies and is a founding member of the governing Free National Movement. He was elected to represent the people of the Marco City constituency in l982 and was re-elected to serve three times.
He has served the people of The Bahamas as a senior Minister with the portfolios of Minister of Education (1992-1995), Minister of Public Safety and Immigration (1995-1997), Minister of Tourism (1997-2000), and Minister of Transport and Local Government (2000-2002).
From 1982 to 1992, he served as Opposition spokesperson on Education, Public Safety and Tourism matters. He also served as a member of the House Select Committee on Illicit Drug Trafficking Within and Through The Bahamas and on the Constituency Boundaries Commission.
He was appointed The Bahamas Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America on Monday, 24 September 2007. He has served as Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States; and as Non-Resident Ambassador to Mexico, Malaysia and Columbia; and Non-Resident Ambassador to Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
He has also provided leadership to the Bahamian community and social and civic organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis and Rotary organizations.
In 2018, he was sworn in as the deputy Governor General.
Sir Cornelius was sworn in as the eleventh Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on 28 June 2019, succeeding Dame Marguerite Pindling who demitted office the same day. He is the 10th Bahamian to hold the office of Governor-General.
Honours and awards
In August 2019, he was appointed an Ordinary Knight Grand Crossof the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG).
He is married to the former Clara Elizabeth Knowles, and the couple has three children.