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Board Members and Senior Management of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)


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Changing of the Canal Guard

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In September 2019, the Administrator of the Panama  Canal Authority Jorge Luis Quijano is set to retire after 44 years of service. Along with Quijano, four vice presidents reach retirement age.

The Canal Board of Directors must choose the replacement for Quijano with time for an orderly transition.

President Juan Carlos Varela must also appoint three directors, who are due for retirement in March 2019, three months before he ends his mandate.



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Canal board nominees under fire

The Assembly ratification committee
Posted 06/03/2019
The ratification process of the three nominees for to the board of the Panama  Canal Authority (ACP), by President Juan Carlos Varela, has been put on hold by the National Assembly  Ratification  Committee.

The naming of the current Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint-Malo; the Ambassador of Panama in Washington, Emanuel González Revilla; and the Minister of the Presidency, Jorge González, have been viewed as political handouts and have been widely criticized.

Their nominations   will be processed by the Credentials Committee once it finishes with the ratification of the appointed the Supreme Court. of (CSJ), nominees  Olmedo Arrocha and Abel Augusto Zamorano.

The president of the committee the deputy Sergio Gálvez, said that already the documentation for the designations is in the General Secretariat of the Assembly, and is expected to be forwarded for consideration in the next few days.

Gálvez said that although it seems that the lawyers Arrocha and Zamorano already have the votes to be the ratified by the Committee with the subject of the ratifications of the directors of the Channel. "There are very divided positions …"If the committee had to vote today the hree would be rejected" he  told La Estrella.

He clarified that they will wait for the consultations on both magistrates to end, to later deal with the three ACP appointments which he would vote against.

The process of consultations for the ratification of the judges magistrates of the Court begins Thursday, March 7.

PRD deputy In this sense, Zulay Rodríguez said that she is not so concerned about the ratifications of the two judges but the biggest magistrates, their biggest worry is the three directors of the ACP, “even though these they have been widely rejected by all citizens.”

Sectors of civil society have questioned the designations, because of connection with the  Varela government.

Raúl Rodríguez, the outgoing president of the Criminal Lawyers Movement (MAG), said that the most negative aspects of the appointments are that the position of Minister of the Presidency is the spokesperson of the President another is an  ambassador who is total without knowledge -how of the functioning of the Canal; but the most ominous thing, is the appointment of Deputy President and Chancellor De Saint Malo.

Former ACP director Eloy Alfaro suggested postponing the process of until after the May 5 elections.

The ex-director of the National Bar Association Juan Carlos Araúz said that the absence of methods for these designations forces the debate to revolve around political power.

Protesting the fact that the legal and constitutional power to appoint the directors of the Canal rests with the President of the Republic, various organizations have opted to nominate over a dozen figures for the ACP board.



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Chancellor withdraws from canal designation


Isabel De Saint Malo

Posted 20/05/2019

Panama Vice President and Chancellor Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado has withdrawn her name from the proposal to occupy a position on the Board of the Panama Canal Authority.(ACP).

She was one of three names put forward by exiting  President  Juan Carlos Varela that raised a storm of criticism.

"I firmly believe that any issue related to our strategic asset requires the maximum possible consensus",  she wrote in a letter to Varela requesting her name be removed from the designation.

De Saint Malo thanked the president for understanding her position and especially for having distinguished her with the nomination, as well as the opportunity to serve the country from her current responsibilities.

"Throughout my career, I have learned that consensus is a solid foundation for building a country; I lived that way when I worked in the dialogues for the adoption of the law that created the ACP, for reforms to the Social Security Fund (CSS) and other processes of national scope " she wrote.

In addition to De Saint Malo,  Vareka had nominated Emmanuel González Revilla, ambassador of Panama in Washington, and Jorge Luis González, Minister of the Presidency.

The designation of González is the only one that was ratified by the National Assembly, but his appointment has been challenged as unconstitutional before the Supreme Court.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Board Members of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) -- Expected Vacancies and Nominations
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Second nominee for Canal board  opts out


Posted 22/05/2019

Panama’s ambassador to of Panama in the United States, Emanuel González-Revilla,  became the second of the nominees to the board of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to decline the appointment made by President Juan Carlos Varela with a "thanks but no thanks" letter after a storm of criticism. 

Like the Vice President and Chancellor  Isabel De Saint Malo de Alvarado earlier in the week, The decision to renounce the appointment was presented through a letter on Tuesday, saying that it was an honor to receive the distinction but  In order to preserve the search for consensus in our country, …  I withdraw my name from the designation, I wish to assign this space so that you can designate a person that generates greater consensus in the National Assembly. "

The designations of Varela for the positions were widely criticized by civil sectors that consider that the designations of Varela for these positions were widely criticized by the sectors that consider that an ACP director is not a position that should by figures close to a president.

González-Revilla was named Ambassador of Panama in the United States. in August 2015



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Quick switch in key Canal appointment


SAMUEL Lewis Navarro resigned for personal reasons.

Posted 25/06/2019

Within hours of the announcement by Samuel Lewis Navarro, on Tuesday, June 25  that he would not take up the role of Minister of the Canal proffered by president-elect Laurentino Nito Cortizo, a replacement was named.

 The resignation, coming just five days before he would have taken office was a surprise because the minister-elect had already held a transfer meeting with the current incumbent Roberto  Roy and his staff.

Lewis  Navarro was vice-president during the Martin Torrijos administration and served in the cabinet alongside Cortizo whom he says he will continue to support. He said that he declined the post for personal reasons

The new Minister who will chair the Canal board will be the   lawyer Aristides Royo, former president during the military dictatorship,

Royo, 78, is a partner in the Morgan & Morgan law firm and a member of the Panamanian Language Academy.

He was a member of the negotiating team of the Torrijos Carter treaties, signed in 1977, and in 1978 he was appointed a president. He held office until 1982, when he resigned under pressure from military dictator  Manuel; Npriega he resigned, blaming a sore throat for his decision.



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First woman # 2 takes office at Panama Canal


Posted 01/01/2020

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.

ilya.jpgShe 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.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Board Members and Senior Management of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

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