2019 Executive Leadership Development Program for Pacific Island Mid-Level Professionals Launches on Guam

Interior-funded Program Builds Leadership Capacity in the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States

Last edited 11/30/2020
Contact Information

Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008



WASHINGTON – With funding support from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) welcomed 28 island government participants to Guam from August 13 to 17, 2018, as they embarked on a one-year program of personal and professional development. The ELDP participants were competitively selected from throughout the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, representing American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau.

“Secretary Ryan Zinke and I are pleased to support this important program of personal and professional development for these young Pacific Island leaders,” said Doug Domenech, Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs. “We respect sovereignty and the rule of law in an open and free Indo-Pacific. This is accomplished through supporting and encouraging strong and competent Pacific Island leaders, especially among our U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.”

Guam Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio welcomed the ELDP participants to Guam while renowned historian Reverend Francis X. Hezel, SJ, reflected with the new cohort on common leadership characteristics of Pacific islanders. Former Guam Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks and former CNMI Public Auditor Mike Sablan both served as closing panelists for group presentations at the end of the week.

During the first week of leadership training and program orientation, participants reviewed the results of Leadership Effectiveness Inventories, were introduced to their social style, and initiated work on year-long group projects. Other activities included drafting individual leadership development plans, enhancing public speaking skills, and identifying professional mentors to facilitate professional growth.

The 2019 Executive Leadership Development Program participants take a group selfie

Participants in the 2019 cohort of the Executive Leadership Development Program from each of the U.S. Territories and the freely associated states in the Pacific are as follow:

American Samoa

  • Katrina Hunkin-Seumanutafa – Head of Travel Division, Office of the Attorney General
  • Peteru Lam Yuen – Financial Aid Officer, American Samoa Community College
  • Burg Salanoa – Program Manager, Community Services Block Grant, Department of Commerce
  • Crystal Simanu – Teacher, Department of Education


  • John Camacho, Jr., – Accountant, Department of Administration
  • Travis Carbon – Auditor, Internal Audit Office, Department of Education
  • Rodalyn Gerardo – Special Assistant, Office of Public Accountability

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)

  • Michelle Atalig – Special Advisor, Department of Public Lands
  • Ryan Camacho – Technical Financial Analyst, Department of Finance
  • Janice Anne Castro – Director, Division of Coastal Resource Management, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality
  • Patty Coleman – Program Leader, Nutrition & Health Programs, Northern Marianas College Cooperative Research, Extension, & Education Services
  • TaAnn Kabua-Demapan – Drug Court Manager, CNMI Judiciary

Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) National Government

  • Erick Paul – Assistant Secretary, National Treasury, FSM Department of Finance
  • Sherlyn Reynold – Budget Analyst, FSM Department of Education
  • Shaun Suliol – Webmaster & System Specialist, College of Micronesia

Chuuk State

  • RX Kaminanga – Accountant, Chuuk Department of Administrative Services & Finance
  • Wisney Nakayama – Representative, Chuuk State Legislature

Kosrae State

  • Julie Sigrah – Administrator, Kosrae Visitor’s Bureau

Pohnpei State

  • Mitaro Simina – Vice Principal, Student Services, Bailey Olter High School

Yap State

  • Vallynna Gippin – Staff Auditor, Yap State Office of the Public Auditor

Republic of the Marshall Islands

  • Maybeline Bing – Secretary, Ministry of Finance
  • Laurence Edwards, II – Legal Advisor, Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority
  • Holden Nena – Clinical Director, Human Services, Ministry of Health & Human Services
  • Isabella Silk – Director, Office of Compact Implementation
  • Francyne Wase-Jacklick – Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Health & Human Services

Republic of Palau

  • Antonnette Merur – Director Of Nursing, Ministry of Health
  • Sunny Ngirmang – Director, Historic Preservation Office, Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs
  • Tmong Udui – Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health

A similar executive leadership program is conducted for participants from the U.S. Virgin Islands. They train in Washington, D.C. and other locations along the East Coast with U.S. federal employees and participate in the Executive Leadership Program managed by the Graduate School USA’s Center for Leadership and Management.

This 2019 Pacific cohort is scheduled to meet three additional times over the next nine months. Additional information on each participant as well as detailed program information, is available online at http://eldp.pitiviti.org. This is the 6th ELDP program to be funded by the United States Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs and administered by the Graduate School USA’s Pacific Islands Training Initiative, bringing the total of ELDP graduates from the Pacific and the U.S. Virgin Islands to 153.

The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees Federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. OIA supports the Secretary's mission of Fulfilling Trust and Insular Responsibilities through balancing efforts and limited resources towards stronger economic and health capacities, and fiscal accountability in the U.S. insular areas.


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