Sonia McLaughlin, the government’s longest serving civil servant currently employed, is retiring after 43 years of service.
Mrs. McLaughlin officially retires from her post as chief officer in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on Sept. 11, but has been granted six months’ pre-retirement leave.
Franz Manderson, head of the civil service, said he enjoyed working with Mrs. McLaughlin and extended thanks and appreciation for her many years of service to the government and the people of the Cayman Islands.
“She epitomizes diligence and hard work and has received many merit-based promotions in the civil service over the years. Her dedication, humility and love for her job have remained undiminished over the years, and are legend in the civil service,” he said.
Mrs. McLaughlin joined the civil service fresh out of high school when she was 16.
She went on to lead the Treasury as accountant general until 2004 – the first woman to hold this post – before being promoted to deputy financial secretary and chief officer in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. She was also the first woman to serve as acting financial secretary and served on numerous public service boards.
Mrs. McLaughlin also strived to develop her own professional skills and, some years ago, secured an MBA degree while continuing to work full-time.
Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson said, “It was in producing government’s annual financial statements that Mrs. McLaughlin showed her mettle. As accountant general, this was one of her primary responsibilities and she ably led her team to produce these in a manner consistent with government’s needs.”