Internationally renowned engineer Ilya Espino de Marotta, who played a lead role in the expansions of the Panama Canal took office on January 1 as the first woman deputy administrator of the waterway
She was chosen by the board of directors of the Panama Canal Authority to replace Manuel Benítez, who retired on December 31, 2019.
The new sub-administrator who began her career at the Canal in 1985 as the only woman engineer at the shipyard is now part of a group of more than 1,000 women working in an interoceanic way. Until December 31, she served as Vice President of Traffic Business, and was Executive Vice President of Engineering during the Expansion Program and was a familiar on-site supervisor in her pink hard hat. She has received numerous international awards for her achievements.
"Ilya exceptionally managed the construction of the expanded Canal, which led the interoceanic route to a new era of maritime trade," said the chairman of the board of directors and minister for Channel Affairs, Aristides Royo.
She is responsible for the administration of the Canal just when the Panamanian administration celebrates 20 years since the United States transferred it to Panama and amid challenges posed by climate change.
The administrator of the Panama Canal, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, said: "It is a great honor to work with a visionary like Ilya, and I am sure that she will continue to contribute to take the Canal into a new decade of innovation."
The Board of Directors of the Canal appointed Espino de Marotta as deputy administrator on February 15, 2019, along with the appointment of Vásquez Morales.
Espino de Marotta began his career on the interoceanic highway in 1985, and has more than 30 years of experience in the Panama Canal in positions as executive manager of resource management and project controls before the Expansion Program.
She earned a degree in Marine Engineering from the University of Texas A&M, and a master's degree in Economic Engineering from Santa María la Antigua University in Panama City.
She participated in the Executive Development Program at INCAE Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.