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Ilya Espino de Marotta takes Office as first female Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal

Ilya Espino de Marotta took office today as Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal, making history as the first woman to ever hold the position.

Mrs. Espino de Marotta began her career at the Canal in 1985 as the sole female engineer on the shipyard. She now works alongside more than 1,000 women and recently served as the Vice President of Transit Business and the Executive Vice President for Engineering during the Panama Canal Expansion Program.

“Ilya skillfully oversaw the construction of the Expanded Canal, leading the waterway into a new era for global shipping,” said Panama Canal Board of Directors Chairman Aristides Royo.

“It is a great honor to work alongside a visionary such as Ilya, and I am certain that she will continue leading the Canal into a new decade of inspired innovation,” said Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales.

The Panama Canal Board of Directors appointed Mrs. Espino de Marotta as Deputy Administrator on February 15, 2019 along with Administrator Vásquez’ appointment. Mrs. Espino de Marotta succeeds Manuel Benitez as he retires after more than 40 years with the Canal.

Mr. Benitez has held several positions at the Canal, including acting manager of the High Voltage Electricity Branch, manager of the Utilities Maintenance Branch of the Maintenance Division, manager of the Power Branch and manager of the Electrical Division.

About Mrs. Ilya Espino de Marotta

Mrs. Espino de Marotta began her career in the waterway in 1985 and has more than 30 years of experience at the Panama Canal. Before her appointment to Deputy Administrator, she was the Vice President of Transit Business and led the Panama Canal Expansion Program as Executive Vice President for Engineering. She also served as the Executive Manager of Resources Management and Project Controls before the Expansion Program.

Mrs. Espino de Marotta earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering from Texas A&M University. She earned her master’s degree in Economic Engineering from the Universidad Santa María La Antigua in Panama City, Panama. She participated in the Executive Development Program at INCAE Business School and Northwestern University’s Kellog School of Management and has a project manager certification from the Project Management Institute.