On the margins of the 19th Micronesia Chief Executive Summit held on Saipan on Dec. 3–6, 2013, the Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee convened their regular meeting on Dec. 3, 2013, to select new officers.
According to its bylaws: “The SC shall select from three of their members the chair, vice chair, and a secretary. The term of officers shall be for one year and may be extended for additional years. Officers shall be selected and limited to the MC Focal Points.”
The MCSC is made up of focal points from the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
During their meeting, Bruce Kijiner, director of the Office of Environment Planning and Policy Coordination of RMI was elected chairman; Umiich Sengebau, minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism of Palau, was elected vice chairman; and Fran Castro, program manager for Watersheds and Coral Reefs of the Division of Environment Quality of the CNMI was elected secretary.
Accepting the chairmanship on behalf of the RMI was Jennifer de Brum, sitting in as a proxy for Kijiner. “The RMI’s chairmanship for the Micronesia Challenge comes at an opportune time, as the RMI also chairs the Pacific Islands Forum in which the Majuro Declaration was launched. We are very excited about the task ahead, it is a very welcomed challenge,” de Brum stated in her acceptance speech to jurisdiction members.
The other focal points include Evangeline Lujan, administrator for Coral Reef Protection at the Bureau of Statistics and Plans for Guam; and Alissa Takesy, assistant secretary, Department of Resource and Development, FSM National Government.
The MCSC also has two non-voting members representing partner organizations: Willy Kostka, executive director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust; and Trina Leberer, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Micronesia Program. (MCSC)