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First Female States CEO Appointed

Jersey's first female government Chief Executive has been appointed.

Suzanne Wylie, who has been in charge of Belfast City Council since 2014, will take over in February 2022 as the permanent replacement for Charlie Parker, who officially stood down from the role earlier this year.

Paul Martin has been in temporary charge since March 2021 and will remain in post until Ms. Wylie arrives.

"I am delighted to be taking up this important role. As a committed and career public servant, I will be using my experience to focus on tackling the crises, inequalities, and areas of deprivation that have been created or exacerbated by the pandemic.

"When I arrive in Jersey, my priority will be to support the Council of Ministers with their ambitious agenda, and to focus the public service on improving the lives of those most in need and on removing any barriers to their success. I will then prepare the public service for the election and deliver for the new administration.

"As Belfast born and raised, I was honoured to lead my home city’s council for the last seven years and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. Jersey is unique and, like Belfast, has many similar values, challenges and opportunities. I am very much looking forward to integrating into Island-life, getting to know the people, those elected by them, and Government employees.

"It will be a privilege to get to know more about the culture, traditions, heritage and pride which make Jersey special and, of course, doing my bit to ensure that the Government protects these. I appreciate there is much to be done to enhance life for all, both now and in the future. I want to build the right relationships and lead a talented and motivated organisation to support Ministers to both address the challenges we face and embrace the opportunities that exist.

"I know the civil service is going through significant change and I will take Paul’s advice on continuing to lead and support civil servants through that change, taking time to listen to diverse perspectives and nurturing Islanders to advance into leadership positions across Government."

The new appointment has been confirmed after a failed attempt to delay the appointment until after next year's election.

Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondre says Suzanne brings a wealth of experience with her and fully merits this appointment.

"Leading the largest local authority in Northern Ireland, she has advanced the vision and ambitions of elected politicians, managed complex external relations with other jurisdictions, and driven internal modernisation to increase innovation and productivity.

"Suzanne has proven success in tackling inequalities and encouraging community cohesion, which will be crucial for Jersey as we accelerate out of the pandemic in a way that puts children first and improves standards of living for everyone."

67 people applied for the role, including four from the island.

Seven candidates got through to a final interview, with one an on-island applicant. Four were male and three were female.

The interim CEO, Paul Martin, did not apply for the permanent position.

"I would like to thank the people of Jersey for the opportunity to serve the Island and I congratulate Suzanne in securing the role.

"When Suzanne arrives in February, I will hand over my duties as Chief Executive and support her during a handover period. I know she will find Jersey as welcoming and wonderful an experience as I have since arriving in March."

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