Malvern Dijkshoorn-Lopes appointed as Island Secretary
The Public Entity St. Eustatius has officially appointed Malvern Dijkshoorn-Lopes as Island Secretary on April 11th, 2021. She has operated for a number of years as Acting Island Secretary, while responsible for the government communications. Her promotion to the position of Island Secretary was determined by the positive outcome of the trajectory that she went through in order to hold this function.
Malvern has worked as Act Island Secretary for the last 5 years. She operated independently as Island Secretary for more than three years and was supported by a coach from the Netherlands in 2020. This on the job training and coaching provided were beneficial as she has learned new skills, increased knowledge and improved further her management and strategic capabilies in line with this function.
Outside of government, Malvern has been very active in working groups and several non- governmental boards in the interest of the community of St. Eustatius. Her commitment, knowledge and work ethics landed her the opportunity to represent the government on the board of Reda Sosial. During her tenure at Reda Sosial she was instrumental in obtaining funding for projects such as: the expansion of the St. Eustatius Auxiliary Home which went through several phases of expansion, Lodi social housing project, the Neighbourhood Beautification project, infrastructural improvements in Jeems, replacement of the museum roof. She further succeeded in securing funds to purchase playground material for the Golden Rock playground.
Her commitment to the organization, her requisite skills, her hard work throughout the years and involvement in many working and steering committees has led to her appointment as Member of the Supervisory Board of the Telecommunication company, EUTEL NV, from 2007 to 2011. She served as President of the Royal Decoration Committee and was among the members of the BBI-working group. Overall her main goal is to contribute to a transparent, effective, efficient, integer and better functioning government in the interest of the residents of St. Eustatius.
The last 4 years operating as Act Island Secretary the focus was on ensuring that advice to the Executive Council is in line with existing policies, legislation and processes enabling the Council to make qualitative decisions. Malvern has spearheaded trainings for policy workers, unit managers and directors to make sure that they understand the importance of following the correct processes, taking into account all relevant information with the objective to safeguard the right outcome. Dijkshoorn-Lopes is currently assessing existing processes to apply the lean method for more efficient and effective working results. A company has already been hired to support these improvements for further improving the functioning of the organization.
During the past two years she was actively involved in the 2 phases of reorganization in order to ensure that key functions in the organization were filled. This would contribute to a better functioning government. This reorganization process in ongoing and her main goal is to make sure that the organization finds the right balance and pace. This exercise entails making sure that the right person is in the right function.
Daily she works in close collaboration with the directors, unit managers and policy workers to maintain a focus on the importance of the 12 criteria phases for the restoration of democracy in their specific areas of work. This entails making sure that the Island Council members are kept abreast of the developments and progress relating to the 12 criteria. Together with the Government Commissioners she works to prepare a series of presentations in the form of technical briefings for the island Council members. This way the Island Council is brought up to speed on the state of affairs of each topic outlined in the 12 criteria.
Another important responsibility was preparing for the elections of the Island Council in October 2020. The recent elections were coordinated through the Unit Manager of Census however, as head of the civil service, Dijkshoorn-Lopes was actively involved in the process through bi-weekly consultations with Government Commissioners, Quarter Master for the elections, Director of Business Operations and the Unit Manager Census also taking into consideration holding elections in the pandemic under strict guidelines.
As General Manager of the civil service, the directors and Dijkshoorn-Lopes have worked diligently on mapping out a multi-annual strategic plan for each year with a time frame for completion. She is further responsible for translating and implementing the policy strategies of the Public Entity St. Eustatius. She is considered a pioneer and motivator of the transition and the development of people and organization.
Malvern has spent the last 25 years as a civil servant supporting the organization in a number of areas. From 1996 till 2019 she was the Unit Manager of Information and Communications (GIS) and was responsible for establishing the weekly “Shedding Light” radio program. Under her leadership, the government started to broadcast the Island Council meetings live via radio. She will now bring her vast knowledge and expertise to the next level in her capacity Island Secretary. Malvern will function as secretary and main advisor to the Executive Council. She is chair of the directors meeting and unit managers meeting.