Nearly 50 Delegates Selected for the 2019 Young Pacific Leaders Conference

WASHINGTON DC – Building on five years of success in collaboration with emerging leaders in the Pacific, the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with Cultural Vistas, is pleased to announce the 46 leaders from 20 Pacific countries and territories chosen to attend the 2019 Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) Conference taking place in Suva, Fiji from March 6—9, 2019.

Delegates were selected from a competitive application process open to leaders ages 25-35 from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Islands of French Polynesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, and the American-affiliated Pacific including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hawaii.

The conference will foster connections between new YPL delegates and past alumni to develop a regional network of young leaders. Conference sessions, led by experts from across the Pacific, will aim to provide the knowledge and skills for conference participants to address challenges related to the four YPL program pillars:

  • Civic leadership
  • Environment and resource management
  • Education
  • Economic and social development

In addition to the four-day conference in Suva, attendees will spend three weeks prior to the conference participating in virtual activities to help the participants get to know each other and develop best practices of networking and collaboration.

Post-program activities will focus on highlighting the impact of YPL members in the region. This will include the introduction of YPL LEADS (Lead, Engage, Advocate, Drive Change, and Serve) — a weeklong event during the first week of May in which participants from 2019 and the larger YPL alumni network will collaborate with each other as they serve as advocates giving back to their communities through a service activity.

About YPL

Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) is a youth leadership development program organized by the United States Department of State. The YPL network includes emerging Pacific leaders from Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Islands of French Polynesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, and the American-affiliated Pacific including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hawaii. The program started in 2013 and has held five regional conferences in American Samoa (2013), Independent State of Samoa (2014), Auckland (2015), Honolulu (2016), and Honolulu (2018). In 2018, the YPL Small Grants Program was launched—providing seed funding to implement 12 innovative projects run by 36 YPL members throughout the Pacific region.

Follow the Young Pacific Leaders on Facebook, Instagram, and via the hashtags #YPL and #YoungPacificLeaders.

The 2019 YPL Conference delegates and their countries of origin:

Petti Tagipo Matila
United States                     (American Samoa)

Sabrina Suluai
United States                 (American Samoa)

Erin Maree Corkill
Australia

Michael James Bradley Dyer
Australia

Sean Teokotai Tuterai Rei Smith
Cook Islands

Yolanda Joab
Federated States of Micronesia

Sylvia Elias
Federated States of Micronesia

Nicole H. Yamase
Federated States of Micronesia

Isoa Nabainivalu
Fiji

Ranjesh Prakash
Fiji

Krishneer Sen
Fiji

Abdul Mufeez Shaheed
Fiji

Mei Mili Tikoi
Fiji

Lora Teimumu Kubu Waqabitu
Fiji

Manuia Leslyn Maiti
France (French Polynesia)

Tahua Tamaehu
France (French Polynesia

Moneka De Oro
United States (Guam)

Nedine Songeni
United States (Guam)

Kelsea Kanohokuahiwi Hosoda
United States (Hawaii)

Leila Hokulani Kaaekuahiwi Pousima
United States (Hawaii)

Tawake Eriata
Kiribati

Donna Tekanene Reiher
Kiribati

Bradleigh James Cherrington
New Zealand

Natalia Fareti
New Zealand

Carinya Feaunati
New Zealand

Ayla Hoeta
New Zealand

Samuel Aaron Hughes
New Zealand

Inangaro Manogihau Motufoou Vakaafi
Niue

Joseph Jason Sakalia
Niue

Carolyn Haruo
Palau

Souang Tellei
Palau

Salome Kair Aba
Papua New Guinea

Augustine Aisa Ausa Krau
Papua New Guinea

Melissa Joy Watapi
Papua New Guinea

Nathan Robert Nee
Samoa

Christine Leutu Retisia Tuioti Mariner
Samoa

Allan Roni
Solomon Islands

Raywin Taroaniara
Solomon Islands

Ignacio C. Dela Cruz
United States (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

Meitaka Kendall
Marshall Islands

Siosaia Tuineau Mataele
Tonga

Tonga Monuia He Lotu Maama E Aho Mapa Taufa
Tonga

Talita Tuipulotu
Tonga

Melissa Menefise Ako
Tuvalu

Risu Kalotiti
Vanuatu

Kevin Kapalu
Vanuatu