Samuel Rose gets Cabinet secretary nod from governor

Samuel Rose has been named to replace Orrett Connor as Cabinet secretary upon his February retirement. 

Mr. Rose, who was the longtime deputy chief officer for Financial Services, was named by Gov. Duncan Taylor after a protracted recruitment process involving 26 applicants, a battery of written and oral tests and a four-member panel interview. Five of the 26 candidates were shortlisted and subjected to assessment; four were interviewed. 

Mr. Taylor expressed his pleasure at the appointment of Mr. Rose, saying he was well respected “both within and outside the Civil Service”. 

“The role of Cabinet secretary is established under the constitution and is critical to ensure policy coordination across the whole of government,” Governor Taylor said. “I am delighted that we have a person of Mr. Rose’s calibre to be the next Cabinet secretary. I am confident that he has the ability to be an outstanding Cabinet secretary.” 

Mr. Rose, delighted with his appointment, said he was grateful for the opportunity, pledging himself to fulfil the responsibilities. 

“Today I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my country as Cabinet secretary and thank God for directing my path,” he said. “I am a product of this community and as such, many people from all walks of life have contributed in immeasurable ways to my life’s journey. To each of them I say a heartfelt ‘thank you’. 

“I accept the challenge of this new position knowing that to whom much is given, much is required,” Mr. Rose said. “I will work faithfully alongside the excellent team of individuals within the Cabinet Office and its departments to make a difference both in the public service and in the wider community.” 

Mr. Rose has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration. Since joining government in 2003, he has worked as a graduate research analyst, a policy analyst, deputy permanent secretary and his current post: deputy chief officer for Financial Services. He is a licensed social worker and has recently completed a United Nations course in public diplomacy. 

Mr. Rose also sits on the Board of Governors of the University College of the Cayman Islands, is a member of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Task Force and of the International Tax Cooperation Team. He has been instrumental in negotiations with Washington regarding local implementation of new 1 January Internal Revenue Service tax rules. 

As part of the recruitment process, the Portfolio of the Civil Service administered on-line tests assessing cognitive ability, emotional intelligence and learning agility. A written examination comprised three scenarios to be completed on deadline, reflecting typical demands on the Cabinet secretary.  

Each applicant appeared before a panel, delivering a previously prepared speech, then spoke at length with panel members Deputy Governor and Chairman Franz Manderson; Dan Scott, regional managing partner of Ernst and Young, chair of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and a member of the National Security Council; Brigitte Kirkconnell-Shaughness, proprietor and operator of Kirks Home Centre and a member of the National Security Council; and Peter Gough, strategic advisor to the deputy governor. 

Privately, Mr. Rose would say only that he was “honoured to be able to serve”, and that it “isn’t clear yet” who might accede as deputy chief officer post. 

Mr. Manderson said: “I am very pleased to have Mr. Rose as part of our chief officer Management Team. As Cabinet secretary he will ensure that the government’s policy framework is cohesive and coordinated. In addition, as the chief officer responsible for Information Technology and Government Information Services, I will be expecting him to champion a fresh impetus towards a more ‘digital’ government that delivers services more effectively to our customers, and to promote the use of social media to communicate with our citizens.” 

Governor Taylor thanked Mr. Connor, who will retire as Cabinet secretary early next year, for his long service and for the personal support and friendship he has demonstrated during the past three years. 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Civil Service, Premier’s Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s Ministry of Finance, District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture will gain the services of Chief Officer for Finance Sonia McLaughlin, as Alan Jones continues to be responsible for the other departments within the ministry. 

Dax Basdeo is now attached to the Ministry of Education, Financial Services and Employment, under Minister Rolston Anglin. Mary Rodrigues continues to head the ministry’s other departments. 

Chief Officer Stran Bodden is attached to the Ministry of Tourism and Development, now led by Minister Cline Glidden. 

Dorine Whittaker continues as chief officer at the Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing, headed by Minister Dwayne Seymour. 

Both Minister Mark Scotland and Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn continue unchanged at the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture. 

The new premier reassured the civil service that no one would lose their jobs because of the Cabinet changes. 

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