Love of history excites new head of U.S. Embassy

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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TALOFA LAVA AND WELCOME TO SAMOA: Tony and his wife, Izumi Greubel, during their welcome reception, last night.

TALOFA LAVA AND WELCOME TO SAMOA: Tony and his wife, Izumi Greubel, during their welcome reception, last night. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

The new Chargé d’Affaires of the American  Embassy in Samoa, Antone Greubel, might not have spent too much time in Samoa but from what he has seen so far, he is impressed.

Last night, Mr. Greubel gave his new home for the next couple of years the thumbs up during a welcome reception at the U.S. Embassy compound, at Vailima.

Mr. Greubel is accompanied by his wife, Izumi.

 “We have already toured much of the island of Upolu and we're looking forward to visiting Savai’i,” said Mr. Greubel. 

“I have met many people, at many functions, and even ran into the Prime Minister this past Sunday as we shopped for fish at the Fish Market.”

This is his second assignment focussing on the Pacific Island countries.

“I am particularly interested in this region, primarily as a result of my love of history. I still envisage the German, Americana and British warships facing off against one another during the 1889 Samoan crisis, until the storm wrecked the fleets.”

Mr. Greubel grew up on a farm in the American midwest, surrounded by corn fields and watching cattle graze in the pasture.

“Although I still feel most of the home in the Midwest, I always had an interest in international relations and wanted to see the world.

“My wife is from Japan and most people assume that we met in Japan, but in reality, we met while she was attending university in the United States.”

Izumi is a teacher by profession and they have two sons, both attending universities in the United States.

“This is our first overseas assignment without any children,” he laughed.

Prior to his appointment in Samoa, Tony was the Senior Pacific Islands Desk Officer in the East Asia Pacific Bureau’s Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands Affairs. 

He managed bilateral relations with five Pacific Island countries -- Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu.  

From 2012-2015, Tony served as American Citizens Services Unit Chief at the United States Embassy in Beijing.  

In this capacity, Tony was also responsible for providing consular services to American citizens in North Korea, in coordination with the Embassy of Sweden in Pyongyang.  

Earlier in his career, Tony served as consular section chief in Surabaya, Indonesia, and performed consular and diplomatic work in Ottawa, Canada and Lahore, Pakistan. 

He also worked as a management analyst in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. 

Tony received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana and a master’s degree from Indiana State University.

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