A summary by Martin Mowforth
Nayib Bukele who assumed power as President of El Salvador on 1st June 2019 has appointed more women to his government’s cabinet than have ever been appointed before in El Salvador’s history. Amongst these he has appointed an ex-mayor, an ex-guerrilla fighter, an expert on drug trafficking and a former union member with the Social Security Institute.
Bukele made almost daily announcements on Twitter in the weeks running up to his inauguration. He has now appointed seven women to top ministry posts where two previous Presidents (Francisco Flores, 1999-2004, and Salvador Sánchez Cerén, 2014-2019) had each appointed three women to cabinet positions. Those appointed by Bukele are as follows.
|Education||Karla Hananía de Varela|
|Foreign Ministry||Alexandra Hill Tinoco|
|Health||Ana Orellana Bendek|
|Tourism||Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil|
|Local Development||María Ofelia Navarrate (María Chichilco)|
|Culture||Suecy Callejas Estrada|
|Housing||Irma Michelle Martha Ninette Sol Schweikert|
Additionally, Egriselda López has been nominated as El Salvador’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
Karla Hananía de Varela.
Karla Hananía de Varela.
Minister of Education. Consultant to UNICEF 1992 – 2010. A member of the Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Wants to have internet in all schools.
Alexandra Hill Tinoco.
Minister of Foreign Relations. Formerly Executive Director of the Anti Drugs Foundation of El Salvador (FUNDASALVA). Expert consultant to the OAS’s Inter-American Commission on the Control of the Abuse of Drugs (CICAD). Wants to strengthen relations with the United States and does not want to deal with ‘undemocratic governments’.
Ana Orellana Bendek.
Minister of Health. Doctor of Medicine from the Evangelical University of El Salvador. Member of the Medical Workers’ Union of the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security. She has promised to review the funding of hospitals.
Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil.
Minister of Tourism. Has experience in the promotion of exports, investments, marketing and communications. Wants to promote El Salvador like the Dominican Republic.
María Ofelia Navarrate (María Chichilco).
Minister for Local Development. Teacher of Social Sciences and Mathematics. Member of the guerrilla, 1980 – 1992. FMLN Deputy in the Legislative Assembly, 1997 – 2000. Vice Governor of Chalatenango. Vice Minister of Government in the FUNES administration, 2009 – 2014.
Suecy Callejas Estrada.
Minister of Culture. A former ballerina. Formerly Culture Secretary in San Salvador City Hall, during which she was mentioned in a corruption case involving audiovisual productions associated with President Bukele.
Irma Michelle Martha Ninette Sol Schweikert.
Minister of Housing. Formerly councillor and mayor of Nueva Cuscatlán. In 2003 involved in a people trafficking prosecution, but not convicted.
Salvadoran Ambassador to the United Nations. A career diplomat with experience in international relations and human rights. She has so far laid much emphasis on getting the UN to strengthen the rights of Salvadoran immigrants in other countries.