A new beginning for Samoa and the U.S.A.

By Ilia L. Likou 27 July 2017, 12:00AM

His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II performed one of his first official duties as the Head of State yesterday.

A week after his inauguration, he and the Masiofo, Her Highness Fa’amausili Leinafo, accepted the credentials of the new Ambassador of the United States of America to Samoa, Scott Brown.

Mr. Brown was accompanied by his wife, Gail Brown, during the ceremony at the Head of State’s official residence at Vailele.

His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano highlighted the close relationship between Samoa and the United States of America. He also referred to the Peace Corps programme which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in Samoa today.

“The establishment of the Peace Corps Program in Samoa since 1967 is one important example of this mutually beneficial partnership,” he said.

The Head of State acknowledged the valuable service of Peace Corps Volunteers to Samoa and their crucial contribution to the development of our people over the years.

“At the multilateral level, Samoa and the United States continue to work closely in the pursuit of areas that are of mutual interest and concern either through regional organizations such as S.P.R.E.P and S.P.C in the Pacific or in the international fora such as the United Nations and its specialized agencies, World Trade Organisation and others. 

“We share similar values and principles in the promotion of basic human rights, general disarmament, democracy, international peace and security, terrorism and contribution to peace keeping and conflict resolution. 

“Our two countries are States Parties of many international intergovernmental conventions in these areas.

 “I am confident that during your tenure as Ambassador to Samoa, the close relations that continue to exist between Samoa and United States of America will be further strengthened and enhanced.”

The Head of State’s wish is shared by the new Ambassador.

 “Official diplomatic relations between our two nations date back to 1971; however our legacy of friendship and partnership date back to the mid-1805. 

“This is a friendship based on trust and mutual interests, strengthened by people-to-people ties between our two countries,” Mr. Brown said.

 “Not only is the United States Samoa's closest geographic neighbour, we also have one of the largest Samoan diasporas populations in the world, and Americans remain major private philanthropic contributors to Samoa.

“Locally, health, education, and cultural preservation are areas of longstanding cooperation, and I look forward to continuing these efforts. 

“This is perhaps best evidenced by our Peace Corps program that is still going strong after 50 years in Samoa. 

“In addition to their primary role as educators, the cross cultural ties from the Peace Corps are long-lasting and far reaching, perhaps unparalleled by any other volunteer program in the world.”

Ambassador Brown was born on 12 September, 1959 in Kittery, Maine and earned a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.  He has Honorary Doctorates from Lasell College (Humanitarian Letters) and Nichols College (Public Administration).

He was was nominated to be the Ambassador of the United States of America to Samoa and New Zealand by President Donald Trump on April 20, 2017.  

The U.S. Senate confirmed Ambassador Brown’s appointment on June 8, 2017 and he was sworn in by the Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan on June 15, 2017.  

He was overwhelmingly confirmed by the U.S. Senate and was the second Ambassador worldwide to assume duties for the Trump administration, thus highlighting the importance of the U.S. relationship with Samoa and New Zealand.  He is a prominent political leader, attorney, and National Guardsman with a long history of public service.  

Ambassador Brown is a former U.S. Senator and during his time in the Senate, he was known as the most bipartisan Senator. 

He was the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, as well as the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, as well as a member of the Veteran’s Committee and the Committee on Small Business.  As an elected official, he worked extensively on sex offender, child trafficking and other law enforcement issues to keep children and families safe.  

Ambassador Brown served in the enlisted and officer ranks of the Massachusetts and Maryland National Guard.  He retired as a Colonel after 35 years of service, the last four of which he served as the Deputy to the Chief Counsel to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon.  While maintaining his law practice he was also a contracted contributor and analyst for Fox National News.  

The Ambassador and his family will be based in Wellington, New Zealand.

By Ilia L. Likou 27 July 2017, 12:00AM

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