New Chief for Home Affairs
Long time civil servant Wesley (Wes) Howell is the new Chief Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Deputy Chief Officer responsible for public safety and security in that ministry since 2012, Mr. Howell topped some nine applicants in an open recruitment exercise that included online and written testing, to win the senior-most position within his organisation.
One of the largest ministries in Government, Home Affairs has some 1,100 workers and a budget of $90-100 million. Its nine departments and numerous public authorities are responsible for criminal justice, public safety and national security.
"I am very pleased that Wes has accepted the position as Chief Officer," says Premier and Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP. "We have always had an excellent working relationship and I look forward to the good work Wes will bring to the table as my CO."
Responding to the news, Mr. Howell says: "I am very excited humbled and thankful to have been selected to lead this amazing team. As a ministry, we work hard to make Cayman better and we are looking forward to the challenge which lies ahead."
"We have an excellent team that is capable of doing great things. Together, I believe we can reach new heights of achievement, as we strive to make the Cayman Islands a better place for citizens and residents," he adds.
Since arriving in the Ministry he has served as a key player in both the design and construction of the new police custody suites, and the ongoing development of security policy and procedures.
At an international level, he has spoken on migration and refugees at the United Nations in Geneva. He was also on the team that negotiated the current memorandum of understanding on migration between the Cuban and Cayman Islands Governments.
A key project during his time at Government's Computer Services Department, where he served as Deputy Director for 13 years having been employed by that department since 1987, was the design, procurement and implementation of the $500,000 Government inter-building underground conduit and fibre optic network.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson describes the promotion as an excellent example of civil service succession planning in action.
"After starting as an unpaid intern in the Computer Services mail room more than 30 years ago, Mr. Howell patiently worked his way up to the top. To support this upward trajectory, he actively pursued suitable educational qualifications and practical experience. At the same time, he has benefitted from his Ministry's strong commitment to leadership development," the Deputy Governor remarks.
In addition to earning a master's degree in business administration from the University of Liverpool in 2007, he possesses a diploma in management of information systems and a certificate in systems development for senior IT managers. Other qualifications include cyber security, public sector reform, disaster management and elections management.
He will move into his new role on 1 July 2016, when current Chief Officer Eric Bush heads to London to take on the role of Cayman Islands Representative in the United Kingdom.
Praising his successor, Mr. Bush says: "I am very proud of Mr. Howell and congratulate him on becoming the next Chief Officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Having worked with him for the past four years, I can say that he is a calm and self-possessed professional who sets high standards for himself and others, and always looks to add value to everything that he does. I have tremendous faith in his capability as a leader."
Mr. Howell will continue in his position as Supervisor of Elections. With general elections exactly a year away, during periods when he is busy at Elections Office, senior staff within the Ministry will act as Chief Officer.
He and his wife Renee have two sons.
For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks