New chief officer for community affairs announced

Teresa Echenique

Teresa Echenique has been appointed as the new chief officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs.

She had been acting as chief officer in the ministry since taking over from Dorine McGee (formerly Dorine Whittaker), who took early retirement in September last year.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson announced the appointment on Friday.

Ms. Echenique had been director of the Department of Community Rehabilitation for 15 years, before becoming the acting chief officer. She brings some 25 years of experience in community work to her new role.

“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 said of Ms. Echenique.

He attributes this in part to her “long-standing passion for continuously developing herself and those around her on a personal and professional level.”

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. She has also undergone various training, certification and overseas placements, more recently from Shirlaws Group and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Over the years, the new chief officer’s management style has resulted in the “successful and sustainable growth” of the Department of Community Rehabilitation, Mr. Manderson said, something that he believes augurs well for her new role.

Ms. Echenique’s appointment followed an internal recruitment process, according to a government press release. Three candidates from the public sector were interviewed by a panel that included Mr. Manderson; Betty Baraud, a private sector recruitment specialist; and Cindy Hislop, a partner at Deloitte.

The Community Affairs Ministry has a staff of 192 and a budget of $39.9 million in the current financial year, the release stated.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is also minister of community affairs, said, “I’ve been working closely with [Ms. Echenique] over the [past] 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.”

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