Lematua Gisa Fuatai Purcell new Regulator
Samoa has a new Regulator. She is Gisa Fuatai Purcell.
The appointment was approved by Cabinet and confirmed by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, during a media programme on Wednesday afternoon.
The mother of four is the Acting Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (C.T.O.) and the Director I.C.T. Development. She was the Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (M.C.I.T.) after working as an I.C.T. and Finance Consultant in Wellington, New Zealand for many years.
She has over 30 years experience in telecommunication and information and communication technology (I.C.T.) development at the national, regional and international level.
Gisa is the wife of the Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour (MCIL), Lautafi Fio Purcell.
"She was the best candidate," Tuilaepa said.
"There is no reason why her connection to Cabinet should hinder the chance for her talents to be utilised for our country. It was not an easy decision. The processes which led to the appointment of [Mrs. Purcell] was not easy and there should be nothing to it because it was an honest decision."
Tuilaepa said Lautafi was not part of the deliberations that approved Mrs. Purcell as the new Regulator.
Mrs. Purcell established the National I.C.T. Committee of Samoa where she made major contributions to driving the liberalization of the Telecommunications market. She spearheaded the development of Samoa’s first ever national I.C.T. policy and strategic plan and its implementation that started with liberalisation of the mobile market, schoolNet and Telecenters.
Her work made Samoa the first country in the South with a grown mobile market and the first country to have established an independent office of the Telecommunication Regulator.
She holds a Masters of Commerce and Administration Degree from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; with a major in Information Systems.
She values her university and continues to be a partner in various Victoria University’s projects including authoring a chapter in the latest book in e-Government: Achieving Sustainable E-government in Pacific Island States.
The following is the official release from Cabinet:
Cabinet this afternoon up-held the recommendation by the Selection Panel to appoint Lematua Gisa Fuatai Purcell as the Chief Executive Officer to lead the Office of the Regulator for the next three years.
Four other applicants applied for the top post. At the conclusion of the due diligence review process and interviews, the panel of three unanimously recommended Lematua as the most qualified and experienced candidate for the job.
She holds a Masters in Commerce and Administration from the Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand (2003) complemented by a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Systems Management from the same University.
A 1973 graduate of Samoa College, Lematua has a wealth of working experience in the Information Communication and Technology industry both in Samoa and abroad.
For six years (2003-2009) she served as the National ICT Sector Committee Secretary and Assistant CEO with the Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology.
And for the last 11 years, Lematua has worked in top management level posts internationally which includes:
- (2009-2016); Head of Division/Project Manager-International Telecommunication Organization, ITU Geneva Switzerland
- (2016-2018): Regional Adviser, South Pacific, Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization, London United Kingdom
- (2018-present) Director, ICT Development-Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization, London United Kingdom
- (2018-present) Acting Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organizations, (CTO) London United Kingdom.
She is schedule to take up her new role as Samoa’s Regulator in October or late November depending on the availability of flights for her return to Samoa.
Lematua is married to Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labor.