Sen. Irene Sandiford-Garner



Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner was born in the United Kingdom of Barbadian parents on August 4, 1961 and was raised in the rural parish of St. Andrew, Barbados.

She received her primary education at the then St. Andrew’s Girls’ School, (now the A. Da Costa Edwards Primary School).  Her secondary and tertiary schooling were at Queen’s College, the Barbados Community College and the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.

She was also the recipient of the Nation Newspaper’s 10th Anniversary Scholarship and studied Mass Communications at the Virginia Commonwealth University at Richmond Virginia in the USA.

The Senator holds graduate and post graduate qualifications from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK; and the Credit Union National Association of America (CUNA).

She spent the first period of her working life as a journalist, editor and columnist. During her latter years Senator Garner worked for ten years at the country’s largest credit union. She was the organisation’s first and sole marketing officer, and her aggressive recruitment and marketing initiatives saw membership move from 15,000 to some 50,000 persons during the ten year period.

It was during her tenure at the “poor man’s bank” as the Credit Union was familiarly known, that Senator Garner was afforded the opportunity to assist in enhancing the social and economic condition of hundreds of Barbadians, both at home and abroad.

In 2008 she was a first-time candidate in national General Elections in which says she was defeated “…but not disgraced…” losing by 43 votes to a 20 year political veteran.  Subsequent to her appointment to the Upper House, Senator Garner was made Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development and Culture and in the Prime Minister’s office.

During her assignment in the Prime Minister’s Office she spearheaded the homecoming celebrations of the country’s World Champion hurdler Ryan Brathwaite and she also directed the National Co-ordinated Haiti Relief Campaign. She is currently Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

Senator Sandiford-Garner was appointed Barbados’ Principal Delegate to the Organisation of American States (OAS) Inter American Commission on Women (CIM) in 2008 and was elected a Vice President in 2010. She has been nominated to serve on the Executive of that body for the 2012-2014 term.

The Senator has served on the Executive Committee of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) as one of the Chairman’s co-opted members, and as an elected member. She was also elected First Vice President of her political party for the period 2011-2012.

She has been invited to deliver addresses regarding women’s issues at numerous conferences, seminars and colloquiums within and outside the Caribbean region. Her most notable achievements have been delivering the Barbados report on the status of women to the United Nations in 2011; the opening of a Colloquium of Caribbean Women Leaders in Port of Spain at the invitation of the Trinidad Government in 2011; and addressing the Organisation of American States (OAS) on behalf of the CIM in 2012.

Throughout her career paths, Senator Garner has been led to pursuits which have enabled her to be a voice for those less able to speak for themselves.  Despite not achieving the goal of representing the people of St. Andrew as their Member of Parliament, the Senator has continued to work on the people’s behalf in whatever areas which have presented.

In the past four years she has been successful in facilitating the resettlement of persons from White Hill who were left behind during the previous Government’s initiative; she has championed and agitated for various projects and initiatives: the renaming of the St. Andrew’s Primary to the A. Da Costa Edwards Primary; the re-opening of the Belleplaine Out-Patient Clinic after  its six year closure; the building of a footpath from the primary school through to Rocklyn to ensure the safety of the schoolchildren in the area; the implementation of a roundabout at Orange Hill; road works in St. Simons, Isolation Rd, Belleplaine/Haggats, White Hill and more.

For the past three years, the Senator has utilised the talents of teachers within her branch by implementing a free Saturday morning lessons programme for children from schools throughout the constituency who require specialised coaching.

As a wife, and mother of two boys aged 24 and 20, Senator Garner believes that giving back to your community in the service of others is ones passport to a meaningful existence.

Contact the Candidate
Constituency Office (246) 422-9667