A meeting to introduce newly appointed cabinet members in the re-elected Lolo and Lemanu Administration was held at 9:00 AM on January 27th at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room in Tafuna.  With Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Mauga being off-island, the meeting was hosted by Governor Lolo Moliga.  The Conference Room was filled with Cabinet members, government support staff and members of the media.

In his opening remarks, Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua welcomed the newly appointed Cabinet consisting of reappointed and those that are in their posts for the first time.  Deacon Malaki Timu was summoned to bless the assembly.  Deacon Timu first asked the gathering to rise for a moment of silence for the recently deceased Western District Governor Lualemaga Faoa. 

He also prayed for the victims of the recent electrocution tragedy in the Territory.  The Deacon asked for blessings for the Governor and those gathered and encouraged patience and prayer to move forward.

The Honorable Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga was then introduced by Chief of Staff Fiu to officially start the cabinet meeting.

Governor Lolo began with thanks and customary salutations before delivering most of his remarks in English. He stated that this meeting was very important as it was the first opportunity to bring this newly appointed cabinet together.  The Governor acknowledged the presence of the media and reiterated the Administration’s continued open policy with the press to foster community awareness of government operations and overall transparency.  On that note, the Governor introduced Fagafaga Langkilde as the new liaison for media relations and government website direction for the Governor’s office.

Governor Lolo next acknowledged the reaffirmed traditional leaders from the Office of Samoan Affairs, starting with Paramount Chief Mauga Asuega and Manu’a District Governor Laolagi Vaeao.  He acknowledged Eastern District Governor Alo P. Stevenson who was absent and then the Governor offered condolences for the passing of HC Lualemaga Faoa and acknowledged the void created by his passing. The Governor continued his remarks, speaking of the importance of working with the “Fathers of our Country” in Samoan Affairs to “maintain our culture and our customs”.

Proceeding with the main purpose of the meeting, the Governor began the introduction of appointees for the new cabinet.  First to be introduced were the Government Authorities whom the Governor described as keystones of the Administration in enabling the delivery of services to the people of the Territory.   Starting with Taufete’e J. Faumuina at the Medical Authority, HC Utu Abe Malae of ASPA (represented by Paul Young), Rosevonne Pato of ASCC, Moefaauo W. Emmsley at Shipyard Authority, Aleki Sene Jr. at ASTCA, David Vaeafe at the Visitor’s Bureau, Ruth Matagi-Fa’atili at Development Bank (DBAS) and Justin Maga at the Public Library (represented by Lily Samana Tunai).

The Governor next introduced first time appointees to the Cabinet beginning with Evelyn Lili’o-Satele at TAOA, Tuimavave T. Laupola at Office of Public Information (KVZK), Samana Semo Ve’eve’a at Homeland Security, Va’amua Henry Sesepasara at Marine and Wildlife (DMWR), Eseneiaso Liu at Human Resources (DHR), Leseiau T. Laumoli at Criminal Justice (CJPA), Filifa’atali M. Fuiava at Agriculture (DOA), Paogofie Fiaigoa at Arts Council, and Fu’ega Lua Moliga at Administrative Services.

The returning Cabinet members were next introduced beginning with Talauega Ale as Attorney General (Legal Afairs), Ueligitone Tonumaipea as Treasurer (Treasury Department), Catherine Saelua at Budget Office, Le’i Sonny Thompson as Commissioner of Public Safety (DPS), Fuiavailiili Keniseli Lafaele at Commerce (DOC), Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona at Human and Social Services (DHSS), Taimalelagi Claire T. Poumele at Port Administration, Tamaaiga Pili Gaoteote at Parks and Recreation, Dr. Oreta T. Crichton at Procurement, Faleosina Voight at Public Works (DPW), Motusa Tuileama Nua at the Department of Public Health, Ameko Pato at Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Liua Fatuesi at Territorial Audit Office (TAO), Leifi Aliitama Sotoa at Energy Office, Jonathan Fanene at the Youth and Womens Affairs (DYWA) and Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga at Education (DOE), who was introduced with the reaffirmation by the Governor that improving the local education system in American Samoa is one of the main goals of the administration. 

Governor Lolo next explained the importance of the appointment of HC Malemo Tausaga as Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs in order to bring our cultural institutions to the activities of the government. 

Introduced next by Governor Lolo were the respective heads of line agencies to the Office of the Governor. Poumele Pete Galea’i at Vocational Rehabilitation, David Herdrich at Historic Preservation Office, Sandra King-Young at Medicaid, Fuala’au Lancaster at Veterans’ Administration, Salu Tuigamala as Acting Director of ODAPD, Matautu Peter Tinitali at Protection and Advocacy (OPAD) and Tapaau Dr. Dan Aga at the Office of Political Status, Constitutional Review and Federal Relations. The Governor also introduced new Insurance Commissioner Peter Fuimaono.

Governor Lolo then acknowledged and lauded the staff at the Office of the Governor and went on to acknowledge Chief of Staff HC Fiu Saelua, Deputy Chief of Staff Taimalelagi Minnie Tuia, Legal counsels Steve Watson and Alema Leota, Executive Assistant to the Governor Iulogologo Pereira, Executive Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor Solomona Aoelua, Finance/Grants Administrator Jerome Ierome and his staff, Financial Officer Don Fa’ai’uaso, Liaisons to the Fono, Chief Logoai Siaki and Chief Sialega, Press Officer Fagafaga Langkilde, Advisors Chief Moananu Va, Deacon Malaki Timu, HR Advisor Otomalesau J. Ah Sue and Executive Secretary and Scheduler to the Governor Tasileta Ioane and Executive Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor Sally Faumuina. After each introduction the gathering showed their mutual support through fervent applause.

Following the introductions of the newly appointed cabinet members, Governor Lolo offered words of thanks and then stressed that service to the people of American Samoa is the top priority moving forward. 

Confirmation hearings for cabinet appointees are being held at the Fono beginning on January 31.