Micronesia’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Akillino Susaia?

Sunday, July 09, 2017
Akillino Susaia

Akillino Harris Susaia, a long-time government official in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), was confirmed as his country’s ambassador to the United States in December 2016. He presented his credentials to President Donald Trump on April 24, 2017.


Susaia is no stranger to the United States. After graduating from Xavier High School in Chuuk (or Truk) in 1976, he attended Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu, the University of Hawaii-Manoa, as well as the University of the South Pacific in Fiji before coming to the University of Oregon. There, Susaia earned a B.A. in political science in 1990 and an M.A. in public administration in 1993.


Even before completing his schooling, however, Susaia was working as a legislative aide in the Pohnpei state legislature from 1978 to 1988 and a budget officer for the legislature from 1988 to 1996. He then took over as general manager of the Pohnpei Port Authority.


In 2003, Susaia was named secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure and in 2005 moved over to the Department of Economic Affairs as secretary. He returned to Hawaii in April 2008 to serve as consul general, representing the interests of the large number of Micronesians who lived there, thanks to their status under the Compact of Free Association between FSM and the United States. FSM citizens may move freely to the United States without a visa.


Susaia was sworn in as the first FSM resident ambassador to China on March 26, 2010, with additional responsibility for Thailand, Vietnam and, in 2013, South Korea. He served in Beijing until 2015, when he ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor of Pohnpei, losing to Marcelo Peterson 53%-47%.


Susaia and his wife, Mihpel, have four children: Ricky, Clara Ann, Einstein and Shalene Rose.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Remarks by Akillino Susaia at Presentation of Credentials

Congress Confirms Susaia for Ambassador and Hainrick for Auditor (Yap Congressional Delegation Office)

Akillino H. Susaia (Facebook)


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