Officials from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Engage in a Fruitful Visit with Governor Stevenson A. Joseph and Pohnpei State Cabinet

Kolonia, Pohnpei: February 20, 2024 – A delegation from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), led by Mr. Steve Savage who is the Field Lead for the OIA’s Honolulu Office and joined by Her Excellency Jennifer Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), visited Governor Stevenson A. Joseph and key officials from his cabinet at the Pohnpei State Government. The courtesy call, organized to administer a grants management workshop and facilitate meetings with key departments and organizations, marked an essential step in the ongoing collaboration between the United States and the FSM funded by sector grants through the Compact of Free Association.

In attendance were officials from the Pohnpei State Government, including Christina Elnei, Director of the Department of Treasury and Administration; Belsipa Mikel-Isom, Attorney General; Stacy Nanpei, State Budget Officer; and Financial Consultant Kelly Keller. Joining Mr. Savage from the Honolulu field office were Mr. Ryan Edgar Education Sector grants, Mr. Martin Moore III, and Ms. Cheryl Burkindine who is posted in Pohnpei.

Discussions during the visit centered on various topics, with a significant emphasis on infrastructure projects. Mr. Steve Savage highlighted the historical impact of infrastructure projects in the region, noting the positive economic development over the previous 20 years of the Compact of Free Association.

The delegation and Governor Joseph engaged in a comprehensive dialogue about the economic trajectory and the importance of continued investment in infrastructure for sustainable development. The meeting provided an opportunity to explore potential collaborations and strategies for further enhancing the well-being of the people of Pohnpei.

A brief but crucial discussion on education took place, specifically focusing on teacher contracts. Mr. Ryan Edgar, part of the OIA delegation, highlighted improvements in teacher absenteeism in recent years, showcasing the positive outcomes of ongoing efforts in the education sector.

The visit of the OIA officials and Ambassador Jennifer Johnson underlines the commitment to the close relationship between the United States and the FSM, reinforcing collaborative efforts for the mutual benefit of both nations.


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