Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Welcomes 31 Public Servants from the Pacific and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the Executive Leadership Development Program

Last edited 12/05/2022
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) welcomed 31 new participants to the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) for the Pacific and Caribbean insular areas this week. The 2023 Cohort is comprised of mid-level management public servants from American Samoa (4), the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (5), Guam (3), the U.S. Virgin Islands (5), the Federated States of Micronesia (8), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (4), the Republic of Palau (2).

“We welcome this new cohort of ELDP participants who are joining a long successful program that can now boast over 175 alumni,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Carmen G. Cantor. “This year’s group represents a broad cross-section of talent who are positioned to have a long-lasting impact in their respective island communities, and we are extremely pleased to support each one of them in what will be a special journey of professional and personal development.”

Competitively selected from a pool of over one hundred applicants, the members of the 2023 Cohort demonstrated steady career growth with increased levels of responsibility, as well as individual commitment to public service, leadership potential, and diversity of regional and technical perspectives.

Commissioned by the OIA, the ELDP was designed to assist the insular governments with developing and retaining qualified and talented professionals needed to lead their governments into the future. The ELDP offers experiential training content designed to develop public service values and leadership skills. ELDP participants are immersed in experiential projects and work with leading experts to address regional issues.

The ELDP Class of 2022-2023 includes the following individuals from each Insular Area:
American Samoa

  • Mika Aga - Senior Engineer, Department of Port Administration
  • Grace Felise - Environmental Planner and Coastal Zone Management Program Manager, Department of Commerce
  • Matilda Kruse - Program Integrity Division Head, American Samoa Medicaid State Agency
  • Patrick Reid - Public Policy Advisor, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

  • Jodina Attao - Chief Executive Officer, Northern Marianas Technical Institute
  • Tiffany Crisostomo - Director of Revenue Cycle/Outpatient Pharmacy Business Manager, Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation
  • Geralyn Delacruz - Zoning Administrator, Commonwealth Zoning Board
  • Rich Salas - Director, Division of Coastal Resources Management
  • William Torres - Grants Coordinator, Northern Marianas College


  • Lawrence Jay Alcairo - Grant Specialist, Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor
  • Chirag Bhojwani - Director of Policy and Communications, Guam Legislature
  • Reuben Bugarin - Ethics Program Coordinator, Guam Ethics Commission

U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Alicia Bastien, Auditor, Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General
  • Jozette Cantois, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Property and Procurement
  • Mone’t Francis-Gardner, Grants Administrator, Office of Management and Budget
  • Sheniqua Lake, Auditor, Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General
  • Somere Webber, Federal Grants Administrator, Office of Management and Budget

Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

  • Andy Choor - Assistant Public Information Officer, Yap Congressional Delegation
  • Reed Floyd - Junior Auditor, Kosrae Public Auditors Office, Kosrae State
  • Rosalinda Mori - Senior Auditor, Office of the Chuuk State Public Auditor, Chuuk State
  • Steincia Olter-Hawley - Carrier & International Business Manager, FSM Telecommunications Corporation
  • Jason Reiong - Deputy Director, Department of Education, Chuuk State
  • Pernes Samuel - Chief Fraud Investigator, State Public Auditor, Pohnpei State
  • Trifonovitch Sound - Auditor III, Office of the National Public Auditor, FSM National Government
  • Mary Lou Yatilman - Registrar of Corporations, Department of Justice, FSM National Government

Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)

  • Yetta Aliven - Information Management Officer, Office of the Chief Secretary
  • Claret ChongGum - Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Jasmine Myazoe - Chief Internal Auditor, Ministry of Finance
  • Benjamin Wakefield - Deputy Director, National Energy Office

Republic of Palau

  • Reggie Mabel - Jr. Auditor, Office of the Public Auditor
  • Sanya Olkeriil - Chief, Division of Juvenile Justice, Bureau of Public Safety, Ministry of Justice

The ELDP today counts 178 alumni from the insular areas who represent island leaders with diverse professional backgrounds and an enduring commitment to public service, found in nearly every branch and agency of each insular area government. Some serve today as elected officials, ambassadors, judges, cabinet members, and directors. Additional information on each participant as well as detailed program information is available online at

OIA provides funding support for the ELDP, which is administered by the Graduate School USA’s Pacific & Virgin Islands Training Initiatives (PITI-VITI). First implemented in 2008, the ELDP serves as the premier leadership development program for government employees throughout the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Assistant Secretary for 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. Find information about OIA and its work on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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