© 2019 by Mackenzie Willard 

Ilya Espino de Marotta

Obtained her Marine Engineer degree from Texas A&M, in Galveston, Texas, U.S.A., in May 1985; and in 1996, her Master in Economic Engineer from the Universidad Santa María La Antigua (The Old Saint Mary University in Panama City, Republic of Panama), also known as USMA. Took Managerial Development courses in: The INCAE Business School, located in Managua, Nicaragua (February 2000) and, The Kellogg School of Management, located in Illinois, U.S.A. (July 2006).


Is a Certified Public Translator. Obtained her Project Administrator Certificate from the Project Management Institute in May 2007.


Has worked for the Panama Canal Commission / Panama Canal Authority for over 30 years on various positions. Among them, Design Engineer for the Industrial Division-where the Canal floating equipment repair shipyard is located; for the Engineering Branch, Dredging Division; and for the Mechanical Engineering Branch, Engineering Division. Also worked for the Accounting Division as Valuation Engineer. Was the Investment Program Coordinator for the Maritime Operations Department. In May 2002, assigned to the Canal Master Plan coordinating team, under the Administrator’s Office, where she
participated in the development of the Panama Canal Master Plan and the Expansion Proposal presented to the Nation for a Referendum on October 22, 2006. She then transferred to the Programs Development Office under the Administrator’s Office, where she participated in planning the execution of the various works required for the Expansion Program.


In May 2007 she was appointed as Executive Manager of the Resources Planning and Project Controls Division, Engineering and Programs Administration Department, responsible for the execution of the Expansion Program. She acted in this position until 2012.

In May 2012 she was assigned as Executive Vice President for Engineering and Program Management. This Vice Presidency is in charge of all engineering of the Panama Canal and preparing the designs and specifications for all Panama Canal Projects, also issuing and managing all the construction contracts for the Panama Canal; and heading the execution of the Panama Canal Expansion Program. In the development and execution of her responsibilities, has been recognized several times with several
awards of excellence for her contribution to various programs. She acted in this position until February 2019.

Recently she has been designated as Executive Vice-President for Transit Business responsible for all maritime operations, emergency response, dredging operations, maintenance of canal’s infrastructures, floating and rolling equipment, customer affairs and marketing analysis.

She has also given many lectures on the Panama Canal Expansion Program and the national and international level and was awarded as “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives; Global Chairman’s Diversity Leadership by Stanton Chase; Forbes Magazine of
Mexico recognized her in its list of the 50 most powerful women in Central America; 2016 Women who make a difference by the International Women Forum; holds the Distinguished Woman Award from the Association of Professional and Business Woman of Panama and Awesome Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award.

Member of the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonalds Charity Organization of Panama. Personal: Happily married for 28 years with Peter Marotta, three biological kids Marco 27, Peter 25, Andrea 22.

Likes: travel, go to the beach, workout, photography, diving, cooking when time allows.