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Jan 8, 2021

Estelle Leslie is Belize’s First Woman Comptroller of Customs

Estelle Leslie

Estelle Leslie is the first woman to ascend to Comptroller’s post, a singular seat in the Customs and Excise Department. In 1988, when she began as an entry-level officer, Leslie dreamt of someday rising to the highest rank. Today, thirty-two years later, she has accomplished that feat. The journey to get here was not easy. It required a lot from Leslie, including a return to the classroom to pursue higher studies. When the time came for her predecessor to retire, Leslie was one of only two candidates being eyed for the position, based on the hierarchy and succession within the department. When the decision was finally announced that she succeeds Colin Griffith as the next Comptroller of Customs, Leslie was beside herself with joy.

 

Estelle Leslie, Comptroller of Customs

“I feel blissful right now, I feel happy.  Words can’t even come right now because I’ve been here since 1988 and from I stepped through the door in 1988, my dream was always to become the first female comptroller of customs.  So I entered the department, made it my career.  I started as Grade 2, moved up the rank to Grade 1, then to Senior Customs Examiner, then to Collector.  That name was changed to Assistant Comptroller, then Deputy Comptroller and finally as the Comptroller of Customs.  So I have worked several areas of the department, I haven’t shied away from any responsibility given to me.  I’ve always done my job to the best of my ability and I knew that in order to succeed and reach this level it would mean that I would need to get some kind of education as well.  So I went back to school, acquired my bachelor’s degree and then my master’s degree to equip myself for today, as the Comptroller of Customs.”


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