Ilya Espino de Marotta has taken office as deputy administrator of the Panama Canal, becoming the first woman to ever hold the position.
She 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 canal’s expansion programme.
Aristides Royo, chairman of the canal’s board of directors, said: “Ilya skillfully oversaw the construction of the expanded canal, leading the waterway into a new era for global shipping.”
Espino de Marotta succeeds Manuel Benitez who is retiring after more than 40 years with the canal.
Benitez 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.
In 2019, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales took office as Panama Canal administrator, replacing Jorge Quijano.