11 Sep 2013

Guam woman set for US Dept of Interior appointment

1:11 pm on 11 September 2013

US president Barack Obama has appointed another Pacific Islander as an assistant secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs.

She is Esther Puakela Kia'aina who was born in Guam and is a resident of Hawaii where she is first deputy director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms Kia'aina would lead the Department's efforts to coordinate federal policy for Guam, the Northern Marianas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.

She would also have the responsibility over federal assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

Ms Kia'aina replaces Anthony Babauta who is also from Guam.