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Interagency group on Insular Area annual meeting in D.C. this week

WASHINGTON D.C .—Governors and Congressional representatives from each of the US insular areas will meet senior-level officials from US Federal agencies to discuss issues of importance to American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S Virgin Islands, according to a news release from the Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs.

The 2012 Senior Plenary Session of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) will be held at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building Feb. 28 and Gov. Togiola Tulafono and Congressman Faleomavaega Eni are scheduled to attend.

The  IGIA is co-chaired by the White House and the Secretary of the Interior.

The following afternoon the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) will convene a working-level meeting of the IGIA at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

“Over the course of the last year we have worked extensively to best respond to the many issues raised at the 2011 meeting. We have made a lot of progress and my hope is that we will continue working together to develop unique approaches and strategies that address the challenges faced by our island communities,” said Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta, who co-chairs the IGIA on behalf of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

David Agnew, recently appointed by President Obama to serve as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs serves as the White House co-chair.

This year’s Federal agency presentations include:

• Bureau of Economic Analysis/OIA - Joint Update on GDP Data Collection in the Territories

•  Economic Development Administration – U.S. Department of Commerce

•  SelectUSA Initiative – U.S. Department of Commerce

•  Insular Area ABC’s – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

• Status of Energy Initiatives in the Territories – U.S. Department of Energy

•  HUD Programs in the Territories – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

• HHS Programs in the Insular Areas – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

• Initiative to Increase Travel and Tourism – U.S. Department of Commerce

• Regional Cooperation in the Pacific Insular Areas - National Invasive Species Council

(Source: news release from OIA -