Jennifer Sandra Carroll is a Trinidadian-born American politician who was the 18th Lieutenant Governor of the U.S. state of Florida. The 1st black American and the 1st woman elected to the position, she assumed the office on January 4, 2011.
She was the 1st black person elected lieutenant governor of Florida, and the 1st black person elected to statewide office in Florida since Reconstruction. Carroll previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2003 until 2010. Carroll was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States at the age of eight, and graduated from Uniondale High School in Uniondale, Long Island New York in 1977. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1979. After serving as an aviation machinist's mate (jet engine mechanic), she was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program, becoming an Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer in 1985. She retired from the Navy in 1999 as a Lieutenant Commander. In 1981, she received an Associate of Arts degree from Leeward Community College. She followed this in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Mexico. She moved to Florida in 1986. She received a Master of Business Administration degree from Kensington University in 1995. In the April 2003 special election, she won the Republican primary with 65.5% of the vote. She became the 1st African-American female Republican ever elected to the Florida Legislature. She won unopposed in 2004, 2006, and 2008. Carroll was appointed Deputy Majority Leader from 2003–2004, and served as Majority Whip in 2004–2006. She was Vice Chair of the Transportation and Economic Development Committee (2003–2004), Chair of the Finance Committee (2006–2008) and Chair of the Economic and Development Council (2008–2010).