President Joseph J. Urusemal has a full Cabinet after the Fourteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia confirmed his recent nominations. Congress approved the nominations during its first regular session.
The administration of Oath of Office was held on May 31 in the President's Cabinet Room to seat the final members of Urusemal's Cabinet as confirmed by 14th FSM Congress.
Congress confirmed Marstella Eliam Jack, 38, of Pohnpei, as Secretary of the FSM Department of Justice. Jack began her professional background with the Governments as the first female Foreign Service Officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and went on to become a Deputy Assistant Secretary. She served as Assistant Attorney General for the Government of Pohnpei State until she was hired in 2004 as an Assistant Attorney General for the FSM Department of Justice.
Jack earned her first bachelor's degree in Political Science from Eastern New Mexico University and her second bachelor's degree is in General Law from the University of South Pacific. Jack holds a Master of Laws degree in International Law from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom. Jack becomes the first woman Attorney General in the FSM Department of Justice's history.
Congress confirmed Akillino Harris Susaia, 47, of Pohnpei, as Secretary of the FSM Department of Economic Affairs. Susaia is currently the Secretary of the FSM Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure. His extensive professional background began in the Legislative Branch of Pohnpei State Government where he served various administrative roles. Susaia then transferred to the Executive Branch to serve as the General Manager of Pohnpei Port Authority. During the last administration, he joined the FSM National Government as the Secretary of the Department of TC&I and held the same post this administration until his confirmation with the Department of Economic Affairs.
Susaia's holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon and a master's degree in Public Administration, also from the University of Oregon. Andrew Robert Yatilman, 44, of Yap, was confirmed as Secretary of the FSM Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure. Yatilman has a diverse professional background that includes being a former Lieutenant Governor of the State of Yap, where he headed the Public Sector Reform Program and chaired the Executive Budget Review Committee, a former Assistant Director of the Yap Health Services, and a former Assistant Principal for the Xavier High School in Chuuk.
He is a senior member in various Boards of Directors and Trustees for the State of Yap and the FSM Government as well. Yatilman earned his bachelor's degree in Public Administration from the University of Guam and did his graduate studies at the University of Hawaii.
The three remaining nominees confirmed by the 14th FSM Congress are for the newly established Office of Compact Management to oversee the implementation of the various provisions of the amended Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the U.S.
Congress confirmed Epel Kalwin Ilon, 53, of Chuuk, as Director of the Office of Compact Management. Ilon has over 20 years of experience in the national government, serving the majority of his time in foreign affairs. Ilon's background includes an intern at the Office of Territorial & Insular Affairs for the United States Department of Interior, FSM's Representative in Washington D.C. where he headed the lobbying for the approved Compact Treaty with the U.S. and various agreements with other nations. He is a former Secretary for the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs. Ilon held leading roles in major national committees that included Chairman of the FSM Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiations.
Ilon earned his bachelor's degree in Education from Chaminade College in Hawaii, with a master's degree from the State University of New York in Albany.
Nick L. Andon and Sebastian L. Anefal were also confirmed as the National Government representatives on the Compact Management Board. Andon is the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration. Anefal is the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Congress also approved the agreement between the Government of the People'sRepublic of China and the Federated States of Micronesia which provided 2,000,000 Yuan, or about $25,000 in US dollars, for the purchase of vehicles to be used solely for protocol purposes and other resolutions.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said in meetings with congress that it envisions there will be a number of VIPs visiting the FSM, especially to visit the Tuna Commission in Pohnpei, and the vehicles would be very helpful to the department. Officials of the department assured the Committee on External Affairs that the vehicles would be used solely for protocol purposes. Members questioned if approval of the agreement would affect any other future funding from the PRC. They were assured that this is a relatively small amount and would not, in any way, affect future funding.
Officials of the department stated that the Government of the People's Republic of China are very willing to help the FSM in any way they could and that the relationships between the two governments are very strong, compared to other nations which have diplomatic relations with the PRC.
A resolution was also approved to shorten the 20 calendar day session to 15 and to approve the ceiling of the funds available for appropriations by Congress. Congress spent some time discussed the Strategic Development Plan before they voted unanimously to approve it. There were three other bills approved before congress adjourned on its 15th day of the first regular session. A total of twenty-three bills approved since the inception of the Fourteenth Congress.