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Governors and delegates of territories to meet in Feb

Governors and Congressional delegates from U.S. territories will convene later next month in Washington D.C. for the annual meeting of the federal Interagency Group on Insular Areas, and the session, which will be held at the U.S. Department of Interior’s conference room, covers a wide range of issues, according to the meeting agenda.


The IGIA is co-chaired by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and David Agnew, Deputy Assistant to the U.S. President & Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. The pair will also provide speeches at the opening of the one-day meeting on Feb. 24, after which governors and delegates will make their presentations.


Among those scheduled to present is Christopher L. Thompson, President and CEO of BrandUSA, which was created by federal law as a public-private partnership, and the official destination marketing organization of the federal government.  BrandUSA will discuss the potential to leverage resources with the territories for tourism branding and marketing.


Another scheduled speaker is David Rixter, the Outreach Manager with the State Small Business Credit Initiative of the U.S. Treasury. Senior SSBCI officials will present on their outreach efforts to date and discuss areas for further growth and maximum utilization of funds before they expire on March 31, 2017.


According to the agenda, an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will talk about the application of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Territories and update the current status of that application, including successes and possible challenges that remain to be addressed.


Leaders of the territories will also have a chance to hold discussions with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Energy Efficiency, and U.S. Education Department.


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga is scheduled to travel to Washington next month to attend the IGIA meeting and other conferences.