Panama Canal executive Ilya R. Espino de Marotta

SEARCY, Ark. (Nov. 14, 2023) — The Harding University American Studies Institute welcomed Ilya R. Espino de Marotta, deputy administrator of the Panama Canal, as part of its distinguished lecture series at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Espino de Marotta started with the Panama Canal Authority in 1985 and made history when she was named the organization's first female executive vice president of engineering in 2012. Her talk focused on the challenging, 10-year project to expand the canal, which doubled the waterway's traffic capacity when completed in 2016. In addition to her reflections on helping the Canal Authority meet the demands of 21st century global trade, Espino de Marotta integrated her family's personal history into an engaging discussion of the vision, dedication and leadership needed to see the monumental expansion to completion.

She has received national recognition including being named "Outstanding Woman of the Year" by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives in 2014 and recognized among the “50 most powerful women in Central America” by Forbes Mexico in 2020, highlighting her success and lifelong commitment to the field of engineering.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in economic engineering from the Old Saint Mary University in Panama City, Panama.

Topics: ASI 2023

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