Interior’s OIA Congratulates the 2021-2022 ELDP Graduates

23 Students from the Pacific Insular Areas

Last edited 04/11/2022
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2021-2022 ELDP Graduates photo

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), congratulates the twenty-three new Pacific Islands graduates who successfully completed the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) and participated in a commencement ceremony on Thursday, March 10, 2022. Program participants represented American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

OIA Director Nikolao Pula delivered welcome remarks to over one hundred alumni, family, and friends who joined the twenty-three graduates to celebrate their graduation. In his remarks, Pula acknowledged the challenge of participating in an ELDP virtual program, given travel restrictions due to the pandemic, and encouraged the graduates to utilize their new skills in service to their islands. The 2021-2022 Executive Leadership cohort, listed by Insular Area, follows:

  • Faith Availepule, Environmental Protection Agency, AS
  • Marcella Fitisone, Department of Education, AS
  • Mikaela Saelua, Department of Education, AS
  • Jasper Tuiasosopo, Department of Education, AS
  • Bradford Mori, Chuuk Environmental Protection Agency, FSM
  • Nicole Babauta, Small Business Development Center, CNMI
  • Antonio Borja, Commonwealth Ports Authority, CNMI
  • Janice Castro, NOAA, CNMI
  • Christopher Concepcion, Office of Planning & Development, CNMI
  • Bobby Cruz, Public School System, CNMI
  • Padwick Gallen, M.D., Pohnpei State Hospital, FSM
  • Serleen Hadley Walliby, Pohnpei State Legislature, FSM
  • Ramona Duenas, Department of Education, Guam
  • T'Nelta Mori, Office of Congressman Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Guam
  • Jesse Quenga, Ethics Commission, Guam
  • Myra Adelbai-Fraser, Ministry of Health, Palau
  • Kimberly Idip, Ministry of Health, Palau
  • Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba, Housing Authority, Palau
  • Martin Moore, Office of Insular Affairs, DOI
  • Rachel Bigler, Health and Human Services, RMI
  • Tamera Heine, Office of the Consul General in Hawaii, RMI
  • Malie Tarbwillin, Ministry of Finance, RMI
  • Ayako Yamaguchi-Eliou, Ministry of Finance, RMI

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs contracted the Graduate School to develop and implement the ELDP to assist the Insular Area governments with developing and retaining the qualified and skilled staff needed to lead insular governments into the future. Since 2008, OIA has supported the participation of 178 young leaders who have completed the program.

2021-2022 program Graduates photo

A similar program for students from the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), called the USVI Executive Leadership Program (ELP) takes place in Washington, D.C. and other locations along the East Coast where students join U.S. federal employees for training. There is a USVI 2022-2023 cohort that is expected to complete their studies next summer. For more information on the Executive Leadership Program and the Graduate School’s Pacific Islands & Virgin Islands Training Initiatives, visit their website at

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The Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin 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 also administers a discretionary Technical Assistance Program for all the insular areas. For more news related to the Office of Insular Affairs, please visit: Find information about OIA and its work on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.



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