Samoan Director of M.I.T., Unitec

Fale Andrew Lesa has been announced as the only director of Samoan heritage on the boards of Manukau Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and the Unitec Institute of Technology (Unitec).

The young man hails from the villages of Sa'anapu, Salesatele Falealili, and Sapapali'i.  

The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology Establishment Board announced the directors for the boards of subsidiary Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, which will take effect from next month.

According to a media statement, Fale is an international policy consultant at the Asian Development Bank and an experienced director, as he represents Aotearoa on the U.N.E.S.C.O. Asia Pacific Youth Advisory Board.

At 19-years-of-age, Fale was elected to the Manukau City Council in 2009. He has spent the last ten years as the Vice Chair of Manurewa High School where he piloted the trades academy scheme.

Now 30, he is a proud member of the Auckland Conservation Board and the Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee to which he has been appointed for the following five years. 

As a former city councillor for Manukau, he is currently an international adviser for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and a fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (C.S.I.S.) in Washington, D.C.

Fale is currently leading a nationwide review for the Ministry of Health and is a senior advisor to the Ministry of Children. 

Fale was recently appointed to Philanthropy New Zealand after managing a child poverty initiative with the J.R. McKenzie Trust.

As a Samoan immigrant, Fale expects to bring a much-needed perspective to the roles. 

He was among the featured speakers at the New Zealand Sustainable Development Goal Summit last year in Auckland.

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