Torres backs Iakopo for MVA post


TINIAN—Gov. Ralph DLG Torres expressed support Friday for the appointment of former Commonwealth Health Care Corp. chief financial officer Priscilla Iakopo as managing director of the Marianas Visitors Authority.

In an interview, Torres said the choice eventually falls on the MVA board and he respects whoever the board chooses but, if it chooses to give her that opportunity, then he supports it.

Torres said he respects the MVA board’s decision and he is unsure at that time if the MVA board has officially notified Iakopo about an appointment.

“But if she is appointed, I want to congratulate her,” said Torres, adding that he has not gotten an official notification from the board.

As to concerns expressed by some people on social media that Iakopo having no background in the tourism industry, Torres said his administration gives everybody the opportunity to serve. “How many of us are given that opportunity? She has a master’s degree. So, she is highly educated,” he pointed out. “She is educated. She went to school, she came back, she is here now. Why not give her the opportunity? It’s an experience.”

Torres said he wants to give others the opportunity to prove themselves and that, in fact, he wants it known in the community that he and Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios are willing to give experience to people.

The MVA board met on Tinian last Friday.

MVA board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce refused to comment if they talked about Iakopo’s nomination.

A source earlier disclosed that Iakopo will be appointed as the next MVA managing director. As of last Friday, Iakopo was still in the U.S. mainland, another source said.

Iakopo was hired as CFO of CHCC, then was subsequently assigned to CHCC’s procurement office. She was one of many applicants for the MVA managing director post.

Christopher Attao Concepcion resigned as managing director last March 12. MVA deputy managing director Judy C. Torres is acting managing director.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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