The Deputy Governor on Friday (2 March 2018) announced the appointment of Teresa Echenique as the most senior civil servant in the Ministry of Community Affairs.
Ms Echenique had been serving as acting Chief Officer in the Ministry for the last five months, and before that spent 15 years as Director of the Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR). In total she brings some 25 years of experience in community work to her new role.
Welcoming her to his senior staff, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson describes the her as highly motivated, and an example to all civil servants.
“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,” Mr Manderson remarks.
He attributes this in part to her longstanding passion for continuously developing herself and those around her on a personal and professional level,”
In addition to a social work degree, Ms 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.
This 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 Community Affairs, where she has worked to strengthen strategic collaboration between the Department of Children and Family Services and the Needs Assessment Unit.
Ms Echenique says she is humbled and honored by the opportunity that the new post represents, and looks forward to continuing 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.
Thanking staff at the Ministry for making her welcome when she took up the acting role in September 2017, she also expressed gratitude to her former team at the DCR for their substantial contributions to the department and the wider community during her time there.
Over the years the new chief officer’s management style has resulted in the successful and sustainable growth of the DCR, Mr Manderson observes, something that he believes augurs well for her new role.
News of Ms Echenique’s appointment follows an internal recruitment process. 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.
The Community Affairs Ministry has a staff of 192 and a budget of $39.9 million in the current financial year.
Congratulating the chief officer, Premier and Minister of Community Affairs Alden McLaughlin adds: “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.”
“We are all very pleased with the news that Teresa Echenique will become a permanent fixture in the Ministry of Community Affairs. Her passion and ability for the job has earned her the respect of all who have the pleasure of working with her”, comments Councillor in the Ministry Austin Harris.