Congratulations to the Winners of the 2019 Young Pacific Leaders Conference

SUVA – 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.

Out of the five countries Embassy Suva is accredited to, there 12 recipients among the emerging leaders from Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu participating in this program which were awarded through a competitive application process for leaders ages 25-35.

From Fiji we congratulate Isoa Nabainivalu, Ranjesh Prakash, Krishneer Sen, Abdul Mufeez Shaheed, Mei Mili Tikoi, and Lora Teimumu Kubu Waqabitu.  From Kiribati we welcome Tawake Eriata and Donna Tekanene Reiher.  Siosaia Tuineau Mataele, Tonga Monuia He Lotu Maama E Aho Mapa Taufa, and Talita Tuipulotu are the selected participants from Tonga and Melissa Menefise Ako is the delegate from Tuvalu. (See below for complete listing)

U.S. Embassy Suva Regional Public Affairs Officer, Rebecca Archer-Knepper said, “We look forward to welcoming all of these amazing young people to Suva to sharpen their skills and make lasting connections.  It will be a wonderful opportunity for young leaders from across the Pacific to be inspired and shape the region’s future.”

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

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.

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 Island

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