Dame Ivy Dumont (nee Turnquest) is the first female Governor-General of The Commonwealth, having been confirmed in the post by the Queen on January 01, 2002. Dame Ivy had assumed office as Acting Governor-General November 13, 2001, in succession to Sir Orville Turnquest. She had been one of three females in the Cabinet of the Free National Movement government.
Dame Ivy Leona Dumont was born on 2nd October 1930 in Roses, Long Island, where she spent her early childhood years. She received her primary education at the Government schools at Roses and Buckleys, and her high school education at Government High School, New Providence. After leaving high school Dame Ivy entered the field of education moving through the system: first, as a student teacher, then as a classroom teacher, a Head Teacher, an Education Officer and as Deputy Director of Education. She culminated her career as a public servant at the Ministry of Works and Utilities where she served as Deputy Permanent Secretary for three years from 1975 to 1978.
In 1978 after serving thirty years in the Public Service, Dame Ivy joined NatWest Trust Corporation (Bahamas) Limited, now S.G. Hambros Bank and Trust (Bahamas) Limited, as a Training Officer. In the thirteen years which she spent with that company, Dame Ivy was promoted to Personnel Manager and then to Group Relations Manager, a position she held until her retirement in 1991.
In 1946 Dame Ivy received the Cambridge Junior Certificate; she gained the Cambridge Senior Certificate in 1947. In 1952 Dame Ivy received a certificate as an Associate of the College of Preceptors, a British organisation, and in 1954 she was awarded a Teacher's Certificate by the Bahamas Teachers College. She furthered her training in the United States of America on a Fulbright Grant as a participant in an International Teacher Development Programme, in 1962/1963.
From 1968 to 1970 Dame Ivy continued her studies at the University of Miami where she earned a Bachelor of Education degree; and she earned a doctorate in Public Administration (DPA) from Nova University (1976 to 1978). Dame Ivy also participated in a number of in-service workshops and public service courses over the years.
Dame Ivy is an active member of Emmanuel Gospel Chapel where she formerly served as a Sunday School Teacher. She is Past President of the United Sisters Fellowship of the Assemblies of Brethren, a former Awana Team Leader, a founding member and Past President of Women's Aglow International (Bahamas). She is a Bible Teacher/Speaker at Ladies' Retreats, Seminars and Workshops.
Dame Ivy is married to Mr. Reginald Deane Dumont and is the mother of two children; Cheddi Dean Dumont and Edda Dumont Adolph and the godmother of four; Deidre, Jihan and Cheddi Dumont and Kobé Paul Adolph.
Her hobbies include dressmaking, design upholstery, soft crafts, and the cultivation of roses.
In 1990 Dame Ivy was elected Secretary General of the Free National Movement (FNM). When the FNM became the government on 19th August, 1992, Dame Ivy began a new career. She was appointed as a Senator and Leader of Government business in The Senate and Minister of Health and Environment. From 1995 to 1999 Dame Ivy served as the Minister of Education and as the Minister of Education and Youth until 2001. Upon her retirement Dame Ivy was appointed Chairperson of the Public Service Commission with effect from 1st February, 2001.
In 1995 Dame Ivy was made a Dame Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (DCMQ) by Her Majesty the Queen.
On 13th November, 2001 in an impressive ceremony witnessed by thousands of Bahamians, Dame Ivy was appointed to serve as Acting Governor-General of The Bahamas. She was confirmed in the position on 1st January, 2002.
Philisia Nairn, a grade-one student at Bahamas Academy Elementary School, presenting Dame Ivy Dumont with a bouquet of flowers following her swearing in as Acting Governor-General Tuesday November 13, 2001, in the Public Square.