Interior Announces Executive Leadership Development Program for Public Sector Officials from U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States

Now Taking Applications for 2018 - 2019 Cohort

Last edited 11/30/2020
Contact Information

Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008


WASHINGTON (April 12, 2018) - The Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs is pleased to announce open applications for the 2018-2019 cohort of the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) for candidates from the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and from the freely associated states –the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

“The United States strives to encourage strong leadership skills among public sector officials in the U.S.-affiliated islands,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech. “Strengthening confidence and competence of future leaders in the territories and the freely associated states serves to strengthen our relationships.”  

Public sector employees from throughout the insular areas with at least two consecutive years of government service are encouraged to apply before the deadline of April 27, 2018.  Program participants will be competitively selected, and the Class of 2019 will be announced in mid-June.  Applications can be downloaded through the program website at

The ELDP was developed in 2009 in response to the insular areas’ growing concerns for continuity in public sector management, and to address challenges attracting and retaining qualified individuals to work in core functions of island governments. The ELDP assists the insular area governments by establishing a pool of highly qualified personnel with potential for promotion into key leadership positions.  

With five graduating classes, the insular areas now count 103 alumni who have completed leadership development through the ELDP. Graduates of the program serve their governments as ambassadors, elected representatives, judges, cabinet members, directors, and dedicated public servants.

ELDP participants attend quarterly, week-long training sessions throughout the Pacific islands; the 2019 ELDP cohort is scheduled to meet in Guam, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Hawaii to develop public service values and skills in leadership, management, finance, policy advocacy, and government operations.  Past ELDP sessions been hosted in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands, the FSM, Guam, Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

For participants from the U.S. Virgin Islands, training and travel takes place in Washington, D.C. and other locations along the East Coast where they join U.S. federal employees to participate in the Executive Leadership Program (ELP,) managed by the Graduate School USA’s Center for Leadership and Management.   Eighteen U.S. Virgin Islands participants have completed the ELP since 2009.  Applications for the 2018-2019 ELP will commence in May.  Announcements and applications for the USVI ELP can also be found at

The ELDP remains competitive, with over 100 applications received and evaluated each program year. The 2018 kickoff for the Pacific islands ELDP participants will occur in Guam on August 13, 2018, with program completion scheduled for June 2019.   The ELDP is administered by the Graduate School USA with funding support through the Office of Insular Affairs’ Technical Assistance Program.  Additional information is available online at More information on funding assistance from the Office of Insular Affairs may be found at

The Department of the Interior is responsible for coordinating federal policy with respect to the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and administering and overseeing U.S. federal assistance provided to the Freely Associated States of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.  The Office of Insular Affairs’ mission is to restore trust and fulfill insular responsibilities by executing activities which bolster healthcare capacity, strengthen island economies, and fulfill U.S. Compact obligations.  The Assistant Secretary discharges these responsibilities on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.



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