Professor George Maxwell Richards served as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago between 2003 and 2013.
Professor Richards was Professor Emeritus in Chemical Engineering at the Department of Engineering, The University of the West Indies and was the first President of the Republic who was not an Attorney-at-Law.
He was born in San Fernando in 1931 and received his primary education there before winning a Government Exhibition to Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain.
From May 1950 to September 1951 he was a staff trainee (Exploration, Production and Refining) at United British Oilfields of Trinidad Ltd.
From 1957 to 1965, Professor Richards held a number of managerial posts at Shell Trinidad Ltd., and then joined the University of the West Indies as a Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering.
In October 1970, he was appointed Professor of Chemical Engineering. He also held the post of Deputy Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor from August 1980 to May 1985.
Professor Richards became Acting Principal in October 1984 and held this post until May 1985, when he was appointed Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor. He held this position until November 1996.
Professor Richards has served on the board of a number of local companies, including the Trinidad Publishing Company, TRINTOC, and the National Gas Company, and has also served on the boards of several service organizations, including the National Training Board (Chairman), the National Advisory Council and the Institute of Marine Affairs (Chairman).
He was also a member of several professional societies, including the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago, the Institute of Chemical Engineers (London), the Institute of Petroleum (London); the Royal Society of Chemistry (London).
He received the Chaconia Medal of the Order of the Trinity – Class1 (Gold) for Public Service.
Professor Richards was married with two children. He passed away on January 8, 2018.