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Government 31 Jan, 2022 Follow News


The announcement of the appointment of a Chief of Strategy in the Office of the Premier, normally just another (albeit important) appointment, has this time brought with a degree of interest and applause generally not associated with the role.


Pilar Bush, Caymanian businesswoman, Dart Executive Vice President of Marketing, People and Culture, and a former Director of Tourism, has brought her considerable pedigree to the job at a critical time for the government - and the country.


Just how critical is outlined by Hon. Premier Wayne Panton himself in a press release about the surprise appointment.


“With a Chief of Strategy in place, we can more effectively design the cohesive national strategies required to achieve PACT’s vision for our three Islands, and implement actionable plans to deliver the results we promised in our budget and Strategic Policy Statement,” said Premier Panton.


Implementing strategies by getting them off paper and into reality - and oftentimes getting such strategies on paper in the first place - is crucial to the success of any business or government.


That is clearly something that Ms Bush knows very well and has demonstrated in both her previous tourism director role in government and in the private sector as a key player in the Dart enterprise and her own business pursuits.


Above all, having her in place as Chief of Strategy, that makes this one of the more significant - and strategic - decisions taken by the PACT government, coming as it does as it within the time frame of other recent major developments.


Among those; the PACT coalition administration approaching its first anniversary in office, coming shortly after the delivery of its first budget, and perhaps most importantly, happening within weeks of the equally unexpected timing of the announcement moving Cayman to the ultimate Phase 5 of reopening the borders - although cruise travel is not yet factored in.


By any yardstick, Ms Bush will be pivotal to PACT achieving - and defining - its strategy for the remainder of its first term in office.


“As Chief of Strategy, Ms Bush will effectively serve as Head of the Office of the Premier, attend Caucus meetings, and support the work of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries to promote the strategic alignment of the PACT Government’s priorities. A key area of focus will be the incorporation of economic, social and environmental sustainability guidelines into Government strategies, decision-making and day-to-day operations,” the Premier said in his statement.


That underlines just how vital and valuable the new Chief of Strategy will be across all ministries - and we venture to suggest, especially the Ministry of Tourism, given her impressive track record in this sector in both the private and public sector.


Defining an economic strategy, especially around tourism when the government hjas stated its intention to review Cayman’s cruise tourism policy (and strategy), makes the timing of Ms Bush’s appointment even more…well, strategic. That word again.


While the particulars specific to the terms of reference for the job have not been disclosed, we also envision that she will bring her influence to bear into balancing (and perhaps calming) the clamour evident in the election campaign and still noticeable especially from within PACT circles, over the dominance of developers versus the interest of Caymanians.


With the Premier taking direct portfolio control of sustainability and the environment, getting that balance right is crucial alongside the publicly stated positions of ensuring that Caymanians have equal and priority access in the job market.


Among her KPI - key performance index as a marketing expert Ms Bush would be aware - is bringing clarity to government’s messaging - which has been rather muddled of late. Clarity and simplicity of messaging is a prerequisite for any successful strategy...or campaign. In other words, singing in hatrmong from the same hymn sheet.


We expect the new Chief of Strategy to feature prominently in (more regular) government press confereces and other forums, utilising her extensive marketing and communication skills.


There’s no question about Ms Bush’s capabilities and capacity to deliver, but she will need the buy-in across all ministries and ministers.


Appointing Pilar Bush as Chief of Strategy might just have been PACT’S chief strategy so far.

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