Wesley Howell is about to become a very busy man.
The 30-year veteran civil servant, who is steering Cayman through its first general election under a new single-member districts voting system as elections supervisor, was officially named Tuesday as chief officer of the government’s largest ministry.
Mr. Howell is replacing Chief Officer Eric Bush, who accepted a position earlier this year as head of the Cayman Islands London Office. Both appointments take effect on July 1.
Mr. Howell has been serving in a deputy chief officer position in the ministry for the past four years and was widely expected to be Mr. Bush’s replacement.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, which maintains oversight responsibility for police, immigration, fire services, computer services and prisons, has about 1,100 workers and an annual budget of more than $90 million.
Mr. Howell previously said that, if called upon for the chief officer’s post, other ministry staffers would step in to fill the role during the period of the general elections.
Cayman has set an election date of May 24, 2017, although there has been wide speculation that the vote may be called earlier.
The newly appointed chief officer has served on law enforcement, immigration and information technology projects during his time with the ministry, speaking before the United Nations in Geneva regarding migrant issues and steering the construction of the new police custody suites in Fairbanks, George Town.
He also served as deputy director of government’s computer services for 13 years.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said Tuesday that Mr. Howell’s promotion caps a career that started in the computer services mail room as an unpaid intern.
“To support this upward trajectory, he actively pursued suitable educational qualifications and practical experience,” Mr. Manderson said.
“At the same time, he has benefited from his ministry’s strong commitment to leadership development.”
Mr. Bush said Mr. Howell would set “high standards” in the ministry.
“I have tremendous faith in his capability as a leader,” he said.
Mr. Howell was selected out of nine candidates for the chief officer job.
The interview panel consisted of Mr. Manderson, dms Offshore Investment Services founder Don Seymour and Solomon Harris managing partner Sophia Harris.