The Hon. Arnhim Ulric Eustace, MP
Former Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Arnhim Ulric Eustace (born 1944) is a development economist and politician from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and is the current leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP).
Early life and education
Arnhim Ulric Eustace was born on 5 October 1944 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Eustace attended St Vincent Boys' Grammar School. He attended Sir George William University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he earned a BSc in Economics and a MSc in Development Economics from University of Windsor (now Concordia) in Ontario, Canada.
At the age of 27, Eustace became the youngest permanent secretary in St. Vincent and the Grenadines when he was so assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture. His ascendancy was cut short when in 1976 he resigned from the civil service on a point of principal. For roughly one year after his departure he fished, literally, the waters off Edinboro, until Sir William Demas flew into St. Vincent to recruit the young economist into the Caribbean Development Bank.
In 1977, Eustace and his family relocated to Barbados where they lived for the next 16 years, his full tour of duty with the CDB. There he rose from Administrative Officer through the ranks of the institution, ultimately becoming Director of Projects, third in the line of seniority at the regional institution, before repatriating to St. Vincent in 1993.
In 1985 Eustace was for 18 months seconded by the CDB to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which assigned him to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to review and implement changes to the public finance system and to manage government finances as Director General of Finance and Planning.
Upon his 1993 return to St. Vincent, Eustace was appointed Fiscal Adviser to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In 1998, he resigned from the public service and ran for political office, winning the East Kingstown parliamentary seat (which he has won for the past 4 consecutive elections by increasing margins of victory). Following the 1998 general election, he was appointed Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service. Later that year he was offered the post of Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, which he declined.
From 1993 to 1998 Eustace was chairman of WIBDECO as well as the Joint Venture Holding Companies in the UK. He headed the Windward Islands negotiating team for the acquisition of GEEST Bananas in a joint venture with Fyffes of Ireland. Eustace was chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). He was also the Government Director on the board of the East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC).
In 2000, Eustace was elected leader of the New Democratic Party and upon the October 2000 retirement of Sir James Mitchell, became Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the 28 March 2001 general election, the New Democratic Party suffered a landslide defeat, retaining only three of the 15 parliamentary seats. Eustace retained his seat and is now the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Eustace remains president of The New Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition. In the three general elections his party has contested since he took the helm, the NDP has risen from 3-12 to 7-8, within narrow reach of forming government.