The Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO) convened its Council after it was delayed from 2019 due to COVID-19 threats.
Twenty of the 24-member country representatives of PIANGO network attended the 9th PIANGO Council at Tokatoka Resort in Nadi Fiji.
The Council is PIANGO’s supreme governing body which meets after three years to set new strategic directions, policy and programme for the organisation.
The newly elected Board Chair, Marstella Jack sees her new role as a commitment to strengthening the role of PIANGO 24 members across the region for a network that is inclusive with equal and effective participation from wide range of development actors.
Jack will lead PIANGO for the next three years taking over from Inia Barry, of Development Services Exchange (DSE) in the Solomon Islands.
Jack is a detail-oriented, conscientious and organised Attorney at Law with 15 years of experience in trial advocacy work, legal drafting, legal research and community awareness legal advocacy work and has served in various capacities in both the public and civil society sectors in Federal States of Micronesia.
She worked in the Foreign Service for seven year and three years’ experience as head of the Division for Information and Research where she analysed current global events for foreign policy advice and national foreign policy formulation, possess extensive knowledge of international legal instruments and processes.
As a government attorney for more than ten years, she was engaged for the provision of legal advice to government on international legal instruments and its impact on domestic policies and practices, as well as the provision of legal opinions on domestic legislation; trial attorney with diligent preparation of persuasive briefs.
She is a Board Member of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Alliance of NGOs (FANGO) and is already making plans to build the network and promote collaboration among CSOs and other development partners.
“I am deeply humbled with the show of confidence to chair the board in the next three years. I am looking forward to lead a Board that has a good representation of women and men as a good foundation of a diverse perspectives to guide the oversight role of the Board,” Jack said.
While the Board is to guide the strategic direction of PIANGO, it is paramount to look out for the welfare of the staff taking into account that their performance is the reflect of her leadership and also seek and secure funding opportunities to positioned PIANGO and its members better.
Barry after congratulating Jack and her board members, reminded them to lead with an open mind, have confidence with the Secretariat team, but most importantly focus on the PIANGO Kainga and values of regionalism.
“You now have a big role to play serving not only one but 24 members across the region where dialogue on key development, knowledge-sharing and networking is important,” Barry said. The Board also elected Drew Havea of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT) as the new Deputy Chair, Kiribati Assocaition of NGOs (KANGO) President Tereeao Teingiia Ratite as the Board Secertary and Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) President Sepesa Rasili as the Treasurer. The other board members are Alson Kelen of Republic of Marshall Islands Association of NGOs (MICNGOs), Shirley Abraham from Vanuatu Association of NGOs (VANGO), and Sioneheke Leolahi of Niue Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NIUANGO).