Ambassador from Tuvalu: Who Is Aunese Makoi Simati?
To many people, the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu (pop.: 12,177) is best known for the fact that it won the coveted Internet country domain extension .tv. The nation sent a new ambassador to the U.S. late last year who is concurrently accredited as his country's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, partly because Tuvalu does not own an embassy in Washington, D.C. Aunese Makoi Simati presented his credentials to President Barack Obama on January 14, 2013, just a month after doing the same with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Simati succeeds Afelee F. Pita, who had served in the U.S. since December 2006.
Born on April 22, 1967, Simati earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Economics and Geography at Waikato University in New Zealand.
Simati joined government service in 1991, spending his first thirteen years at the Tuvalu Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Industries, starting as a rural physical planner in the Department of Planning and rising to senior economic adviser from 1993 to 1994, acting director from 1994 to 1999, and senior assistant secretary from 1999 to 2003.
Simati spent the next seven years serving in high positions in three different ministries. From 2003 to 2004, he was acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Transport; in 2005, he served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Rural Development; and from 2006 to 2009, he was permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Industries.
From mid-2009 to January 2010, Simati served as permanent secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Office of Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia in Funafuti. From February 2010 until his latest appointment, Simati was high commissioner (i.e., ambassador) to Fiji.
Ambassador Simati is married to Sunema P. Simati.
A Window for Development: Tuvalu Trust Fund (by Aunese Makoi Simati)
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