Engineer Jorge Luis Quijano was sworn in today as the third Panamanian Canal administrator. He has 36 years of experience at the waterway and has been in charge of key projects, including the current expansion program.

Quijano was sworn in as administrator for a seven-year period before Minister for Canal Affairs and Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board Chairman, Roberto Roy, and the board of directors during a ceremony held today at the Panama Canal Administration Building.

"Today, I assume this responsibility knowing that, together with a broad vision, hard work and determination dreams may come true," said Quijano before signing the resolution that begins his tenure as head of the ACP, autonomous entity responsible for the operation and management of the waterway.

"The future of the Canal is full of challenges, and they will certainly not be easy. History has taught us that nothing is ever easy with regard to the Canal: its original construction was daunting, it was not easy to regain our sovereignty and the Canal administration, and proving to the world that we could handle it effectively and efficiently" he added.

On March 9, the ACP Board of Directors announced Quijano´s appointment as new canal administrator to replace engineer Alberto Alemán Zubieta, who on Monday September 3 completed 16 years at the helm of the Panama Canal.

The ceremony was attended by current and former members of the board of directors, including President Ricardo Martinelli, who was Minister for Canal Affairs and Board Chairman between 1999 and 2003.

 The new administrator highlighted the Canal´s autonomy, which has been the result of a national consensus and has allowed for the successful management and operation of the waterway. "We will continue to be strict custodians of this management model devised by Panamanians for the benefit of the world maritime commerce and of Panama," he said.

"On behalf of the men and women who work at the Panama Canal every day, may I reiterate our commitment to continue strengthening the management of this strategic resource while safeguarding the highest standards of accountability, efficiency and transparency," he added.

Quijano becomes the third Panamanian leader of the waterway. He was preceded by Alberto Alemán Zubieta (1996-2012) and Gilberto Guardia (1990-96), who was the Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission, the U.S. federal agency that operated the Canal until 1999.