Nearly 50 Delegates Selected for the 2019 Young Pacific Leaders Conference

WASHINGTON – 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 Twitter hashtags #YPL and #YoungPacificLeaders.

 

The 2019 YPL Conference delegates and their countries of origin:

 

Petti Tagipo Matila
United States (American Samoa) 🇦🇸
Isoa Nabainivalu
Fiji 🇫🇯
Kelsea Kanohokuahiwi Hosoda
United States (Hawaii) 🇺🇸
Sabrina Suluai
United States (American Samoa) 🇦🇸
Ranjesh Prakash
Fiji 🇫🇯
Leila Hokulani Kaaekuahiwi
Pousima
United States (Hawaii) 🇺🇸
Erin Maree Corkill
Australia 🇦🇺
Krishneer Sen
Fiji 🇫🇯
Tawake Eriata
Kiribati 🇰🇮
Michael James Bradley Dyer
Australia 🇦🇺
Abdul Mufeez Shaheed
Fiji 🇫🇯
Donna Tekanene Reiher
Kiribati 🇰🇮
Sean Teokotai Tuterai Rei Smith
Cook Islands 🇨🇰
Lora Teimumu Kubu Waqabitu
Fiji 🇫🇯
Bradleigh James Cherrington
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Yolanda Joab
Federated States of Micronesia 🇫🇲
Manuia Leslyn Maiti
France (French Polynesia) 🇵🇫
Natalia Fareti
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Sylvia Elias
Federated States of Micronesia 🇫🇲
Tahua Tamaehu
France (French Polynesia) 🇵🇫
Carinya Feaunati
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Nicole H. Yamase
Federated States of Micronesia 🇫🇲
Moneka De Oro
United States (Guam) 🇬🇺
Ayla Hoeta
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Inangaro Manogihau Motufoou 
Vakaafi
Niue 🇳🇺
Nedine Songeni
United States (Guam) 🇬🇺
Samuel Aaron Hughes
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Joseph Jason Sakalia
Niue 🇳🇺
Nathan Robert Nee
Samoa 🇼🇸
Siosaia Tuineau Mataele
Tonga 🇹🇴
Carolyn Haruo
Palau 🇵🇼
Christine Leutu Retisia Tuioti 
Mariner
Samoa 🇼🇸
Tonga Monuia He Lotu Maama
E Aho Mapa Taufa
Tonga 🇹🇴
Souang Tellei
Palau 🇵🇼
Allan Roni
Solomon Islands 🇸🇧
Talita Tuipulotu
Tonga 🇹🇴
Salome Kair Aba
Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬
Raywin Taroaniara
Solomon Islands 🇸🇧
Melissa Menefise Ako
Tuvalu 🇹🇻
Augustine Aisa Ausa Krau
Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬
Ignacio C. Dela Cruz
United States (Commonwealth of
the Northern Mariana Islands) 🇲🇵
Risu Kalotiti
Vanuatu 🇻🇺
Melissa Joy Watapi
Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬
Meitaka Kendall
Marshall Islands 🇲🇭
Kevin Kapalu
Vanuatu 🇻🇺