Acting community affairs boss named chief

| 05/03/2018 | 21 Comments
Cayman News Service

Teresa Echenique, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs

(CNS): Teresa Echenique has been appointed as the chief officer for the community affairs ministry. She has been acting in the job for almost six months after the former post holder, Dorine Whittaker, took early retirement September 2017. A civil service veteran of some 25 years, Echenique was the head of the Department of Community Rehabilitation for over 15 years. Deputy  Governor Franz Manderson said she was highly motivated and an example to all civil servants. The Community Affairs Ministry has a staff of 192 and a budget of $39.9 million in the current financial year.

“In addition to possessing the right mix of education and experience, she also has a depth of character that is necessary to the job. This is evident from her outstanding track record in delivering life-changing programmes and services,” Manderson said in a press release about her confirmation in the senior post.

Officials said she was appointed following an internal recruitment process, where three candidates from the public sector were interviewed by a panel that included the deputy governor; Betty Baraud, a private sector recruitment specialist; and Cindy Hislop, a partner at Deloitte. Both women are also active in social and community issues.

Congratulating Echenique, Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is minister of community affairs, said, “I’ve been working closely with her over the five months and have been impressed by her professionalism and ability. I know that she will bring her experience to bear on the role, and I’m certainly looking forward to continuing to work with her as we look to assist the most vulnerable in our society.”

Echenique has an executive master’s degree in business administration (EMBA) from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management Executive Programme and the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI). She has also benefitted from various training, certification and overseas placements, more recently from Shirlaws Group and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Officials said her solid social work background and strong management skillset is something that she has put to good use during her time acting as chief officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs, where she has worked to strengthen strategic collaboration between the Department of Children and Family Services and the Needs Assessment Unit.

Echenique said she was looking forward to continuing the important work in the ministry. Among other goals, she plans to provide strategic direction, develop human capital, and ensure high standards of achievement through the consistent delivery of effective and efficient services.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    WOW! I am surprised they didnt hire the 3rd or 4th ranked candidate for this post. How come?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Will the appointment of Deputy Chief Officer for this Ministry follow a transparent process?

  3. Jotnar. says:

    So when an expat is appointed everyone bitches that it should have been a Caymanian And when a Caymanian is appointed all those that think they or their friend should have got the job or who have some axe to grind bitches. WTF is wrong with people.

  4. Tisha says:

    Bernie is not helping anyone… he is only giving credence to the allegation that Caymanians needs illegal poltical interference to get jobs.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    She has always been a standout individual.

    A much deserved appointment and will no doubt be yet another stepping stone to yet another achievement.

    Congrats Ms Echenique.

    – Who

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  6. Sheena says:

    Another example of succession planning in the civil service. Clearly Caymanians are being trained to take the top jobs. Teresa is a highly capable young woman and a role model.

    The fact that there are sour grapes comments proves to me that she is an effective leader. If everyone likes you you are not an effective leader.

    Another great hire. Thankfully gone are the days of promotion based on tenure alone.

    One day the likes of Bernie will understand that putting people in jobs they can’t do is a recipe for disaster.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly and especially when what they do will indirectly effect our children. If we want educated csymanians we have to make the hard decisions.

  7. Anonymous says:

    fantastic news and a definitely improvement for the Ministry leadership. Teresa is a very capable young Caymanian and the first woman to be appointed to this role in 10 years. Thank you DG for all that you do for Caymanians.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    10:31 that is rubbish and fake news. No department was added to the Community Affairs Ministry. Stop fighting down our own Caymanians. Are you Bernie?

    this is yet another of example of smart and capable Caymanians being promoted in our civil service.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    She is very bright and she is not lazy. Always willing to assist and has an indepth understanding of the job. A good combination I might add. Teresa do not pay any attention to this jealous lot, probably tried and couldn’t cut it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Life changing programs my a%&*, I was in one of those sunday school programes. This is all unbelievable to see the same ineffectual people who stick around because she has “too many friends to fail”. TFF means we all get an award for just showing up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is true. Awarded for just showing up. Doing nothing and getting praised and promoted. That is the DG style.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    When she began acting Chief Officer for the Ministry, after the sudden retirement of Dorine Whittaker, I remember the DG saying that she would only be there for 3 months. Then the DG added her old dept. to the Ministry thus giving her a SERIOUS advantage over all of the other candidates for the post. The fix was in long long time daaling.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t reply about whether a “fix” was in, because I wasn’t a part of that process — as I doubt you were. Instead of blasting this promotion with your cynicism, perhaps it would be more productive to look at Ms. Echenique’s track record. I have worked with her, and I can tell you she is highly competent, professional and ethical. She is where we as Caymanians need her to be. Congratulations, Ms. Echenique, and thank you to those who are smart enough to have placed her in this post.

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    • Sheena says:

      10:31 You lie!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound like the other Civil Servant who is trying to use Bernie to get a job that you do not qualify for

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh Bernie…. enough now !

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    • Anonymous says:

      True thing brother

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