Ilya Espino De Marotta earned a degree in Marine Engineering from Texas A&M University in Galveston, Texas, May 1985.  In 1996 she obtained a Master´s in Economic Engineering from the Universidad Santa María La Antigua in Panama.  She has successfully completed Managerial Development courses in: The INCAE Business School, Managua, Nicaragua (February 2000) and, The Kellogg School of Management, in Illinois, U.S.A. (July 2006).  In May 2007 Ilya obtained her Program Management Certification (PMP) from the Program Management Institute.

She has worked for the Panama Canal for more than 30 years, and held multiple engineering positions in several of its' departments.  In May 2002, she was selected to the Canal Master Plan coordinating team to participate in the development of the Panama Canal Master Plan and Expansion Proposal. In 2012 Ilya was appointed as Executive Vice-president of Engineering and Program Management tasked with leading the execution of the Panama Canal Expansion Program. As Chief Engineer of the project, Ilya completed the Panama Canal Expansion on June 2016.

Ilya was awarded “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives; “Global Chairman’s Diversity Leadership” by Stanton Chase.  She made the cover of Forbes Magazine Central America, recognized as one of the 50 most powerful women in the region.  Additionally she was the 2016 honoree for Women who make a difference, by the International Women's Forum.  She was also honored with the Distinguished Woman Award from the Association of Professional and Business Woman of Panama.

Ilya is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonalds Charity Organization of Panama; She is also a member participant of  Women Corporate Director (WCD) and the International Women Forum (IWF).