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Governor submits three more cabinet nominations for Fono confirmation

reporters@samoanews.com

Governor Lolo M. Moliga has written to the Fono leadership submitting the names of three more cabinet nominations for confirmation. The three nominees are Keniseli Faalupe Lafaele as the director of the Department of Commerce, Faleosina Faiai Voight as the director of the Department of Public Works, and Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona as the director of the Department of Human and Social Services.

He urges Fono leadership and their colleagues to confirm his nominees.

Confirmation dates for the trio are yet to be scheduled, as their nominations must first be drafted into resolutions and introduced in both Fono chambers.

Keniseli Faalupe Lafaele

Presently an independent financial advisor, Lafaele is Governor Lolo’s nomination to head the Department of Commerce.

Lafaele holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from George Washington University, and a Master of Arts degree in economics with an emphasis on economic development from the University of Hawaii – Manoa. For the past five years, Lafaele has provided financial planning services to the public as an independent financial advisor. Before that, he was a financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., a local business where he spent 26 years.

“He specializes in the areas of financial planning for risk management, education, investments, and retirement,” Lolo pointed out. Lafaele is also a former member and vice-chair of the American Samoa Medical Center’s Board of Directors.

“Mr. Lafaele has government experience in addition to his many years in the private sector,” Lolo added.

The Governor wrote, “With a keen eye for developing economic policy, many years of experience providing the public with sound financial planning advice, and the formal education necessary to execute the duties and responsibilities of this important post, I know that Mr. Lafaele will play a significant role in moving the economy of American Samoa forward.” 

Faleosina Faiai Voight

The Acting Director of the Department of Public Works Faleosina Faiai Voight is Lolo’s nominee to be Public Works Director. Voight, a DPW engineer for 20 years, spent the last eight years as the Chief Engineer for the DPW Civil Highways Division and served as deputy director for the department.

She holds a Professional Engineering License from the State of Hawaii and also a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Idaho State University.

“Mrs. Voight has been instrumental in developing a strategic plan for the highway program in American Samoa, and implementing a territory-wide transportation improvement program,” Governor Lolo wrote. “She was tasked with overseeing and administering federal highway programs and has negotiated agreements between the Federal Highway Administration and her department.”

Lolo concluded, “Mrs. Voight has spent her entire professional life serving American Samoa and almost her entire career at the Department of Public Works. She knows well the strengths of her department and the areas that will improve because of her leadership.”

Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona

Lolo has submitted the name of long-time cannery official Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona to be the director of the Department of Human and Social Services.

For the past two decades, Taeaoafua has worn many leadership hats at StarKist Samoa. Most recently, he was the manager of government relations and plant communication. Prior to that, he was the manager of the human resources department, and the total quality management department. He was also a plant superintendent for the production department, and served as a translator/trainer for the whole plant.

Before working in the private sector, Taeaoafua was appointed as the director of the Department of Commerce, and was once the special assistant to the director of the Department of Education, and also served as the principal of Samoana High School.

Taeaoafua holds a doctorate degree in education administration and a master’s degree in secondary education, both from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in pre-law from the University of California – Riverside.

“With many years of experience in the public sector and in private industry, strong educational qualifications, and a proven penchant for leadership and management, Taeaoafua is well suited to this appointment,” Lolo wrote.



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