Panama City, Panama, February 15, 2019 – The Panama Canal Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Mr. Ricaurte Vasquez as the next Panama Canal Administrator. Mr. Vasquez will take office on September 5, 2019, succeeding current Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, who concludes his seven-year term at the helm of the waterway.
The decision was made by
the Board of Directors in accordance to an independent, transparent and
rigorous process mandated by the Panamanian Constitution and Organic Law of the
Panama Canal Authority.
“As part of the Panama Canal Authority’s autonomous
institutional process, the Board of Directors developed its evaluation criteria
based upon an analysis of the Panama Canal’s vision, mission, values, strategic
objectives and challenges for the coming years,” said Roberto Roy, Chairman of
Board of Directors and Minister for Canal Affairs. “After months of undergoing
this strategic planning process, the Board of Directors determined that Mr.
Vasquez has the expertise needed to lead the waterway through its next era of
Mr. Vasquez has more than 30 years of experience in financial
and international capital market management and in the public sector. He served
as Minister for Canal Affairs and Chairman of Panama Canal Board of Directors
(2004-2006), deputy administrator (2000-2004) and finance director (1996-2000)
for the waterway, playing a role in laying the groundwork for the Panama Canal
Expansion Program. Recently, he served as General Electric’s executive director
(2013-2015), vice president, and CEO for Central America and the Caribbean
He has a PhD in Managerial Economics and a Master’s Degree in
Operations Research and Statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He
also has a Master’s Degree in Economics from North Carolina State University.
To guarantee a smooth succession, Mr. Vasquez will soon begin a
transition period under the careful guidance of Administrator Quijano, who will
be retiring after more than 40 years in the waterway. Over the next few months,
Mr. Vasquez will join key upcoming conversations with stakeholders and observe
day-to-day activities to adapt to his new role
“We are committed to ensuring that Mr. Vasquez acquires the
knowledge and expertise required for a smooth transition,” said Administrator
Quijano. “As was the case during past transition periods, we can assure the
maritime community that the waterway will continue to offer uninterrupted,
reliable and safe service to its customers.”
Mr. Vasquez will become the fourth Panamanian Administrator of
the waterway shortly before it celebrates its 20th year under
Panamanian administration on December 31, 2019. Past Panamanian Administrators
include Jorge Quijano (2012-2019), Alberto Aleman Zubieta (1996-2012) and
Gilberto Guardia (1990-96), who was the Administrator of the Panama Canal
Commission, the U.S. federal agency that operated the Canal until 1999.
The Panama Canal Board of Directors, also in compliance with the
Constitution and the Organic Law, announced the appointment of Mrs. Ilya Espino
de Marotta as the next Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal. Mrs. Espino de
Marotta will take office in January 2020, when the current Deputy Administrator
Manuel Benitez retires after more than 40 years with the Panama Canal. Mr.
Benitez will also closely accompany Administrator Quijano in the transition
Mrs. Espino de Marotta began her career in the waterway in 1985
and has more than 30 years of experience at the Panama Canal. She was recently
appointed Vice President of Transit Business and led the Panama Canal Expansion
Program as Executive Vice President for Engineering.
Espino de Marotta
earned a degree in Marine Engineering from Texas A&M University. She and a
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- Kellog School of
Management, and has a project manager certification from the Project Management
About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is an autonomous legal entity of the Republic of Panama in charge of the operation, administration, management, preservation, maintenance, and modernization of the Panama Canal, as well as its activities and related services, so that the Canal may operate in a safe, continuous, efficient manner. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.