Movers and Shakers

(L-R) Filimon Manoni and Henry Puna

Dr Filimon Manoni has assumed his new role as the Pacific Ocean Commissioner after serving the Pacific region as Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum since May 2020. 

Vanuatu’s Minister of Climate Change, Ralph Regenvanu, has been appointed as a Loss and Damage (LnD) Champion in the Pacific region, the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) announced in a statement. His invaluable expertise and dedication in the field of climate change made him a deserving leader to champion the LnD cause,  according to the statement.

Themba Kalua of Malawi is the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Samoa. Based in Apia, Kalua will head the Samoa Multi-Country Office, and coordinate the UN development operations in Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau.

Bipen Prakash has been elected the new chairman of the Pacific Meteorological Council. He was serving in an acting capacity as Director of PMC. 

Akisi Vinaka has been appointed to the Fiji Sugar Corporation Board of Directors, the first woman to join the board. Vinaka has 23 years of farming experience as a cane farmer. 

Mark Clough is the new General Manager – Investment at Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia. He recently served as the CEO of the Fiji Development Bank, where he led the strategy, operations, and stakeholder interactions of the region’s largest development bank. 

Samoa’s former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren is the first Pacific woman to be appointed Professor of Law by the University of Waikato. 

Tania Sharkey is the first person of Tongan descent to be appointed District Court Judge in the family jurisdiction at Auckland’s Manukau District Court.

Sir Robin Fleming is the new chairman of the Board of Directors of the People’s Micro Bank (PNG) Limited. As the former group CEO for Bank South Pacific, he brings 45 years of industry experience to the Bank. 

The Asian Development Bank has appointed Indonesiannational, Said Zaidansyah, as  Country Director for Papua New Guinea. He was previously the Deputy Country Director for Indonesia. 

Northern Marianas’ Governor Arnold I. Palacios has re-appointed Michael S. Sablan and Catherine Marie Attao to the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority board of trustees and to the Northern Marianas Technical Institute board of trustees, respectively.

FSM President, Wesley Simina, has sworn-in three new diplomats – Jeem Lippwe as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Jack Soram and Teresa Filepin as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States. 

(L-R) President Wesley W. Simina, Jack Soram, Jeem Lippwe, Teresa Filepin, and Vice President Aren B. Palik

Eleven legal practitioners have been sworn-in to the Nauru Bar. They are Carlos Eoe, Amos Horasio Cook, Kosak Kosam, Dane Dageago, Trini Josie Caleb, Lisa-Marie Solomon, Ignatius Shark-O Bill, Aie Ribauw, Cronisa Baguga, Chloe Adeang, and Bernard Grundler.

PNG Power Limited has appointed three new executives – Mark Greenaway as Chief Technical Officer; Dr Nigel Booker as Chief Commercial Officer; and Peter Mell, formerly the CCO, is now Chief Financial Officer. 

The new Director-General of PNG’s National Agricultural Research Institute Council is Nelson Simbiken, replacing Warea Orapa

Tony Sewen has been selected as the new Acting Director General of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health, succeeding Judith Melsul

Dr Anita Borja Enriquez has assumed her new role as the 12th President of The University of Guam’s Board of Regents after serving as the Senior Vice President and Provost at UOG for the last 10 years. Also, Dr Roseann Jones has been appointed Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration at UOG.

Fiji’s former Military Commander Mosese Tikoitoga is the country’s new High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea. 

Vanuatu has a new National Mental Health Committee. They are Chair, Dr Jimmy Obed from the Ministry of Health (MoH); William Nasak from VANGO as Deputy Chair; Secretary Peter Napuwat from MoH , Service User Representative Rose Mary Worek, Donor partner Kingsley Garae from the World Health Organisation, and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Angela James

Ambassador of New Zealand to the FSM, Michael Ketchen, has presented his credentials to President Wesley Simina

Legal practitioner, Nancy Tikoisuva, and academic, Dr Neelesh Gounder, are two of the newest Directors of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Board. 

Former Merchant Finance Pte Ltd Chief Executive, Naibuka Saune, is the Fiji National Provident Fund’s new Chief Investment Officer. He succeeds Viliame Vodonaivalu.

The Bank of Guam has elected David J. John as a Class II Director of its Board. He fills the vacancy left by Frances L.G. Boria who resigned from the Board earlier this year. 

Henriette Lillyjean Lani-deBrum has rejoined the Marshall Islands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Management. 

Fiji Airways has elected Nalin Patel as Chairperson and Seni Nabou as Director to its Board of Directors.  

Rota Ports manager, Sharlene Manglona, has resigned from her position at the Commonwealth Ports Authority. 

Finance Corporation Limited (FinCorp) in PNG has two new Directors, Douveri Henao and Chris Hansor

New Zealand Supreme Court Judges, Sir Terence Arnold and Dame Lowell Patricia Goddard, have been sworn into the Fiji judiciary by the President of Fiji, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere

The Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation has appointed two new board members – Rowena Taito and Sharyne Fong.  Fong replaces  Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Eseta Nadakuitavuki, as acting Chairperson of the Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council (WEBC). 

Solomon Power’s new Chief Executive Officer is Martin Sam. He has served the electric utility company for more than 18 years. 

Special Achievements

Former sevens star, Tomasi Cama, has been named the Head Coach of the All Blacks Sevens for the 2024 season. He becomes the first Fijian to fill the role.

Papua New Guinea singer-songwriter, Anslom, has been recognised with the Band of the Year award at the 2023 International Singer Songwriters Association annual ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. “Winning my first international award is special. I dedicate this win to my fans in PNG and the Pacific,” he said.

In Memory 

Eleni Levin-Tevi, European Union Programme Coordinator in Tonga, has died. She was the founder of the influential No Pelestiki Campaign. 

Papua New Guinea Member of Parliament for Maprik District, Gabriel Lenny Kapris, 59, died in Port Moresby from a suspected heart attack. His career in politics began in 2002.

The founder of Fiji’s iconic Hot Bread Kitchen chain of bakeries, Mere Samisoni, has been laid to rest. Samisoni was a former Fiji Member of Parliament.

Kiribati’s Tourism Authority Deputy Chairman, Martin Tofinga, died last month. He was also the President of the Kiribati Islands Football Federation.