George Maxwell Richards, T.C., CMT, Ph.D., (b. 1931, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago) is the fourth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. A chemical engineer by training, Richards was Principal of the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad in 1996. He previously worked for Shell Trinidad Ltd. before joining the University of the West Indies in 1965. He was sworn into office on March 17, 2003 for a five-year term.
Max Richards, as he is generally known, was born in the town of San Fernando in southern Trinidad. He received his primary education there before winning an exhibition (scholarship) to attend Queen's Royal College in Port-of-Spain. From 1950 to 1951 he worked for the United British Oilfields of Trinidad (precursor to Shell Trinidad Ltd.) at Point Fortin. He received a scholarship from them to study chemical engineering. Richards then attended the University of Manchester (UMIST) where he took a Bachelor's degree (1955) and a Master's degree (1957). He then obtained a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge.
Richards returned to Trinidad and worked for Shell Trinidad Ltd. from 1957-1965 before joining the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of the West Indies, eventually attainting the post of Professor of Chemical Engineering. From 1980-1985 Richards served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Principal of the University. He served as Acting Principal from 1984-1985, and was confirmed in the position in 1985. Richards served as Principal through the turbulent period in 1988 then the government slashed the university budget by 30% and instituted a cess on university students (effectively raising tuition from nothing to $3000 overnight). He managed to keep the university afloat through this difficult period and retired as Principal in 1996 although he continued to teach as Professor Emeritus until he was elected President. Richards has also served on the Boards of many Trinidad and Tobago companies including that of the state-owned oil company, Trintoc (now Petrotrin), the National Gas Company and the Trinidad Publishing Company.
In 1977, Max Richards received the Chaconia Medal of the National Order of the Trinity, Class 1 Gold (the Chaconia Medal, Gold) for his contributions to Trinidad and Tobago. He is married to the former Jean Ramjohn, a medical doctor and cousin of former President Noor Mohamed Hassanali. They have two children, Dr. Mark Richards and Maxine Richards.
| Preceded by:|
Arthur N.R. Robinson
|President of Trinidad and Tobago|| Succeeded by:|