Keith Padgett, former Finance Secretary and acting Chief Executive of the Falkland Islands government has been confirmed in the post by the local government acting in agreement with the Islands Governor.
Keith is the first locally recruited Chief Executive and has a long record with the Falklands’ government. In 2001 he was appointed Deputy Financial Secretary and became Financial Secretary in 2008. Last January he was appointed interim Chief Executive while a replacement for the outgoing CE Tim Thorogood was chosen.
“I am delighted that Keith won this against very strong competition from overseas candidates. We needed to be sure that we found the best candidate for the job, and Keith was offered the position after a lengthy and rigorous selection process. The final stage was an interview with all MLA who were on the Islands at the time, and the decision was one that they all supported”.
The MLA chair of the month, Roger Edwards, said “We are pleased that the job has gone to someone who has worked his way up through the FIG system. We believe Keith’s appointment, against competition from very experienced external candidates, shows that there are real opportunities for talent to rise to the top in the FIG. We hope this will be an encouragement to all others in the service”.
In an interview last January with MercoPress, Keith said he would like to push forward the Economic Development and Tourism strategies that have been 4 years in the making and represent long-term strategic approaches to economic development in the Islands. Additionally he expressed his wish to remove some of the bureaucratic obstacles that seem to have mushroomed in recent years hindering progress and strategic thinking.
The post of Chief Executive to the Falklands Islands Government is a notoriously stressful one. Being responsible for the entire civil service and principle strategist for the development in the Islands requires tough decision-making skills combined with sensitivity to the Islands way-of-life, the ability to listen and acute political skills.
As in many small democracies, decision-making in the Falklands has an immediate and visible effect, which can lead to often contradictory vocal criticism and opinion from all sectors of the country.
Keith’s knowledge and familiarity with the Falklands is certainly a bonus for his performance in the job.