(by David Miho, Pacific Magazine)
Anthony Marion (Tony) Babauta was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs on September 10, 2009. He oversees federal administration of the United States possessions of Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Babauta is the first native islander to hold this position, which the Obama administration raised to Assistant Secretary status for the first time since 1994.
Pula previously worked for Senator Inouye of Hawaii, Congressman Sunia of American Samoa, the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation, and for the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. He joined the Department of the Interior in 1993, serving as a policy desk officer until 2000. In February 2000 Pula began work as the OIA Director of Policy, and in January 2001 he was appointed the director of the Office of Insular Affairs.