Viky Benavente is the new Labor secretary.
In an announcement yesterday from the Office of the Governor, it said that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has appointed Julia Victoria I. Benavente to serve as secretary of the CNMI Department of Labor.
“Vicky has been a valued member of my team and has played an active role in our tourism industry and our islands’ economic development over many years. As we continue to sustain our economy with the necessary labor, she will be instrumental in leading our efforts to effectively recruit and train more of our local residents to join the workforce. She shares in my vision to increase the number of our local workforce so that our economy continues to grow and more opportunities are available for every person willing to work for it. I am confident she will lead this vital department with the same passion she has exhibited everywhere she goes,” Torres said.
Benavente has been the special assistant for Project Development for the Office of the Governor since August 2016.
A former managing director of the Marianas Visitors Authority from 2000 to 2006, Benavente developed marketing campaigns designed to improve the visibility of the Northern Mariana Islands with key travel markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
She described her role as an active and vigilant position dedicated to ensuring that the local workforce is developed and that the CNMI’s labor issues are addressed responsibly and effectively for the long-term.
“I’m honored to accept the nomination from Gov. Torres for the position of the secretary of Labor. We are—as a community, either in the private or public sector—all aware of the numerous challenges facing the CNMI with regard to the labor workforce, and I [look] forward to taking on these responsibilities with the team at the Labor Department,” Benavente said.
Prior to her role at the Office of the Governor, Benavente was executive manager for the Pacific Islands Club Saipan from 2008 to 2016 and a manager at the Hyatt Regency Saipan from 2006 to 2008. She was also a deputy managing director for MVA from 1998 to 2000.
Benavente attended the University of South Carolina, the College of Southern Idaho, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Travel Industry Management.
She also received a human resources certification from the American Lodging and Hospitality Education Institute in 2010.
She is married to former lieutenant governor Diego Benavente. (Saipan Tribune)