Born in San Fernando in 1946, Mr. Manning attained his primary and secondary education in South Trinidad, followed by his B.Sc. Degree (Special Honours) in Geology at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Mr. Manning has extensive experience in the Energy Industry.
Serving under Prime Ministers Dr. Eric Williams, then Mr. George Chambers, the young Representative Manning was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary in Ministries ranging from Works and Transport to Industry and Commerce, and Petroleum and Mines. He became a full-fledged Minister in 1981 holding the Industry and Commerce, and Information portfolios, then Energy and Natural Resources.
When the PNM lost the General Election in 1986 Mr. Manning was one of three PNM candidates who retained their seats. He became the Leader of the Opposition and within 2 months was elected to the post of Political Leader of the PNM.
In 1991 Mr. Manning was appointed Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He would again be appointed Prime Minister in 2001, 2002 and 2007.
Mr. Manning entered politics in 1971, at age 24, as the People’s National Movement candidate for the Constituency of San Fernando East, emerging victorious in the General Election of that year. He has won this seat in every General Election since, totaling 10 contests to date. His party lost the General Election of 1995, and he returned to the position of Leader of the Opposition for the following six years. In 2001, when a deadlock arose in the House of Representatives, Mr. Manning was appointed Prime Minister by President Arthur N.R. Robinson. A General Election was then held on October 7th, 2002 and Mr. Manning again emerged victorious. With the increase of constituencies from 36 to 41 for the General Election of November 5, 2007, the PNM won 26. Mr. Manning was again appointed the Prime Minister.
In December 2003, Prime Minister Manning was awarded the Guyana Institute for Democracy “Democracy Prize” for his outstanding work in upholding the principles of democracy in the Caribbean region. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by Medgar Evans University. He later stated in Parliament that the award was accepted on behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Manning is well-respected in the international community for his vision as a new-style Caribbean leader bent on having Trinidad and Tobago not only grow to developed country status on or before the year 2020, but simultaneously contribute to the development of fellow Regional States. In December 2004, he was awarded the Caribbean – Central American Action’s “Star of the Caribbean Award”, for his unwavering support of Caribbean neighbours in their time of distress.
Mr. Manning is married to Mrs. Hazel Manning and they have two sons – Brian and David.