Faleomavaega congratulates Kia’aina on appointment to DOI Insular Affairs post
Congressman Faleomavaega sent congratulations to Esther Kia‘āina on her recent appointment by President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs at the Department of the Interior. The President’s nomination will now go to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Kia‘āina will oversee federal policy for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and administer policy for the Freely Associated States including the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of Palau.
Kia‘āina currently serves as the Deputy Director of the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, having been appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie. She began her 20-year career on Capitol Hill as an intern for the late Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawai‘i and later went on to serve as Chief of Staff for former Congressman Robert Underwood of Guam as well as former Congressman Ed Case of Hawai'i.
Kia‘āina also served in key leadership positions with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools. She was also a candidate in the 2012 general election for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District. If confirmed by the Senate, Kia'āna would become the highest-ranking Native Hawaiian presidential nominee in the White House.
“I congratulate Esther Kia‘āina on being selected by President Obama to fill the role of U.S. Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs at the Department of the Interior,” said Faleomavaega.
“In her career on Capitol Hill, Kia‘āina has gained a wealth of experience and I have personally witnessed her leadership capability during her years as Chief of Staff for my dear friend and colleague, former Congressman Underwood of Guam. I am especially proud of the accomplishment she will achieve by becoming the highest-ranking Native Hawaiian presidential nominee.”
“As American Samoa’s congressional representative, I am hopeful that Kia‘āina will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Although I was in support of Nikolao Pula as the candidate for the position, I look forward to working closely with Kia‘āina. I know that she will do well and I wish her the very best,” Faleomavaega concluded.
Source: Media release Office of the Congressman