Assistant Secretary Cantor Completes Pacific Tour of Hawaiʻi, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Last edited 03/07/2023
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WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor today wrapped up a trip to Hawai’i, Guam and Saipan. Her visit included valuable opportunities to highlight U.S. investments, the importance of partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region, and the Biden-Harris administration’s recently launched first-ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities.

While in Hawaiʻi, Assistant Secretary Cantor met with Governor Josh Green and announced a grant award of $15.8 million to help defray expenses for services provided to citizens from the freely associated states currently residing in the state. She joined the U.S. Chiefs of Mission to the freely associated states and Brigadier General Kirk E. Gibbs, Commander and Division Engineer for the Pacific Ocean Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to discuss infrastructure projects in the freely associated states (FAS) and U.S. territories.

Assistant Secretary Cantor met with We Are Oceania, a non-profit organization partially funded by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), that provides assistance and resources to FAS communities living in Hawaiʻi. She also met with Graduate School USA’s Hawai’i team to discuss ongoing training and support to the Insular Areas for economic planning and improved financial management. 

In Guam, Assistant Secretary Cantor met with Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero and announced a $6.5 million grant for design and construction of a new facility for the Division of Environmental Health at the Department of Public Health and Social Services. She attended activities related to the reactivation ceremony of U.S. Marine Corps Camp Blaz and delivered remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Guam Community College for a new DNA Forensics Lab and Toxicology Facility at the George C. Perez Crime Lab, funded partially by OIA.

While on Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Assistant Secretary Cantor met with Governor Arnold Palacios and announced a $1.65 million grant in Compact Impact assistance. She toured Kalabera Cave, an important cultural and tourist site, and other areas that have received previous OIA funding support. She also learned about projects, funded in part by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, where efforts are ongoing to curb infestations of the invasive vine Mucuna Pruriens, also known as the Velvet Bean. 

More information about the Office of Insular Affairs can be found at

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