Dean Oliver Barrow (born 2 March 1951) is Prime Minister of Belize and leader of the United Democratic Party. An attorney by trade, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1998 and was then Leader of the Opposition until the UDP won the February 2008 election. He started his first term as Prime Minister after victory in the 2008 election. He started his second term after United Democratic Party again won an election on 7 March 2012.
Barrow has four children. The oldest is rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, born 8 November 1979. (Shyne was born out of wedlock; his mother is the sister of Barrow's political colleague, the Hon. Michael Finnegan). His second son Anwar runs a small-scale lending institution. His daughter Deanne practises law out of her mother's (Barrow's first wife Lois Young) firm.
Barrow was married a second time 7 February 2009 in Savannah, Georgia to his long-time girlfriend Kim Simplis. They have one daughter, Salima.
Barrow attended St. Michael's College in Belize and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados (LL.B. 1973); Norman Manley Law School, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica (Certificate of Legal Education, 1975); University of Miami School of Law (LL.M., 1981); University of Miami (M.A. International Relations).
Barrow, a senior counsel, is also considered one of Belize's successful attorneys and has appeared in several high profile cases. He began his legal work in the law firm of uncle Dean Lindo in 1973 and became a partner in 1977. He would eventually leave to form his own law firm. He is silent senior partner in the local law firm Barrow and Williams (with Rodwell Williams), and has appeared in court to argue high-profile cases. Among his firm's more controversial clients is Lord Ashcroft and the businesses he is connected with, particularly the Belize Bank and at one time, Belize Telemedia Limited, formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited.
In 1983 Barrow entered electoral politics as a candidate for Belize City Council elections in December 1983, which he won as part of a nine-man slate. He then participated in the December 1984 general election as a candidate for the Queen's Square electoral division against Ralph Fonseca. Barrow defeated Fonseca handily and was nominated to Cabinet as Attorney-General and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In the 1989 general election, Barrow defeated Thomas Greenwood but his party lost the election. Barrow continued in his law practice. In 1990, he became Deputy Party Leader to Manuel Esquivel after the death of the Hon. Curl Thompson. In 1993, Barrow won his third straight general election, over Juliet Soberanis, and returned to Cabinet in the posts he held from the previous administration in addition to Minister of National Security. His detractors called him "Minister of Everything" during this period because he appeared at most major functions on behalf of the UDP government.
After the 1998 elections loss in which he was one of only three representatives who retained a seat for the UDP, Barrow was elevated to Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition, replacing Manuel Esquivel in both positions. Barrow has presided over the smallest Oppositions (3 and 7 respectively) in the House of Representatives since 1974 and ever in the UDP's history. Barrow has won his last two elections by closer margins than his previous elections over attorney Richard "Dickie" Bradley.
Barrow was re-elected for the sixth time in 2008 against the PUP's Anthony Sylvester and Ebony Babb of the NRTCP.
The UDP won a massive victory, with 25 out of 31 seats, in the general election held on 7 February 2008, and Barrow was sworn in as Prime Minister on 8 February. He is the country's first black Prime Minister. He announced his Cabinet, including himself as Minister of Finance, on 11 February.
The UDP again won in the 2012 general election, albeit with a reduced majority. Barrow then started his second term as Prime Minister on 9 March 2012. He announced his cabinet, including himself as the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, on 12 March 2012.
- "Belize elects first black leader, ousts incumbent (page 2)". Catherine Bremer Reuters. 8 February 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN0848407320080208?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- "Belize prime minister will get married in Savannah", Associated Press (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), 15 January 2009.
- "Belize's opposition party wins landslide in congressional elections", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), 9 February 2008.
- "Prime Minister Dean Barrow announces new Cabinet", The San Pedro Sun, Vol. 18, No. 7, 14 February 2008.