Congress confirms Robert as FSM’s top diplomat

PALIKIR, POHNPEI. September 23, 2015 – The 19th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has confirmed the President’s nomination of Lorin S. Robert as the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In its second week of its Second Regular Session, the Congress adopted Congressional Resolution (CR) 19-102 to maintain Robert in his role as the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and CR 19-91, for Samson K. Pretrick to remain Deputy Secretary of the department. Also from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Congress adopted CR 19-87, to confirm Carl D. Apis to serve as the FSM’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and CR 19-101, for Wilson F. Waguk to serve as the Deputy Chief of Mission for the FSM Embassy in Fiji.

In addition to heads of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Congress through CR 19-74 confirmed Ginger Virginia Porter Mida as the Nation’s Post Master General.  For the Office of National Elections, CR 19-90 confirmed Tony H. Otto as the National Elections Director. And finally through CR 19-99, Lorrie Johnson-Asher, Esq. was confirmed to head the Nation’s Office of Public Defender as the Chief Public Defender.

The confirmed nominations complete the majority of departments and agencies of the national government, with the exception of the Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Affairs whose nomination has yet to reached Congress.  The nomination of Nakama Sana for the Chief FSM Public Auditor was twice defeated, therefore the position remains vacant along with that of the Department of H&SA.

Members of several Boards were also confirmed during this week and they included the FSM MiCare Board of Directors for which the Congress through CR 19-100, confirmed Julie R. Yoruw as the State of Yap’s representative and CR 19-103, for Dr. Elizabeth Iehsi Keller as the representative of the State of Pohnpei.

The Board of Directors for the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) also received the nod from the Congress through the confirmation of CR 19-110, for Churchill B. Edward as the National Government representative and CR 19-112, for Peter Garamfel to be the State of Yap representative on theBoard.

Mathew Yamada Chigiyal, through CR 19-111, was confirmed to be the National Government’s representative on the FSM Social Security Administration Board of Directors.

The remaining nominations for other boards and especially the overseas Missionswill be taken up when the Congress reconvenes on Sunday.  The Congress is currently recessed until September 27, to allow the Committee on Ways and Means to consolidate the national government budget for fiscal year 2016.

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