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Cabinet Appoints First Export Authority CEO



(GOVT. PRESS SECRETARIAT) - Pouli Dr. Keneti Faulalo has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Samoa Export Authority. The Cabinet finalised his appointment at their weekly meeting on Wednesday, 13 June 2024. Dr. Faulalo was chosen from among four candidates who applied and were interviewed for the position.


Dr. Faulalo, an alumnus of Samoa College (Class of 1980), pursued further education at New Plymouth Boys' High School. He later attended the University of Canterbury, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science with Honours.


Hailing from the ‘Aiga Sā-Matiū of Utuali’i village, Dr. Faulalo brings over 20 years of experience in international development, with a significant focus on sustainable development for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). His professional background includes roles as a Senior Technical Adviser for UNDP and FAO projects across Pacific islands, where he specialised in sustainable agriculture, value chains, and food system transformation.


Extensive Professional Experience

Dr. Faulalo's extensive career also includes a decade-long tenure with the United Nations. He served as a UNEP Officer in the Pacific islands and later as an Inter-regional Advisor in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) in New York, focusing on SIDS issues, water, and climate change adaptation. Prior to his UN roles, he was a Programme Manager for Pacific regional and multilateral environmental programs at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZ MFAT).


In addition to his formal roles, Dr. Faulalo's expertise encompasses regenerative agriculture, nature-based solutions related to food systems transformation, food security, and agro-ecosystem management. His work also spans water resources management and climate change adaptation, particularly focusing on SIDS. Dr. Faulalo has demonstrated skills in sustainable development project development and management, analytical research, and evaluation from scientific, policy, and operational perspectives. His ability to think broadly and creatively at the interface between policy and science has been a cornerstone of his career.


Leadership and Community Involvement

Dr. Faulalo's diplomatic and leadership skills enable him to work at all levels—from community to ministerial—and across diverse cultures and regions. He adopts a professional, client-responsive approach, striving to create value and remain open to feedback. He has held academic positions as a lecturer at the National University of Samoa and a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of the South Pacific's School of Agriculture.

Moreover, Dr. Faulalo is actively involved in the community, serving on the Executive Boards of the Samoa Cancer Society and the Samoa Conservation Society. He chairs the interim Board of Live&Learn Environmental Education (LLEE-Samoa), a new NGO in Samoa.


Vision for Samoa Export Authority

The Samoa Export Authority, operating under the Ministry of Public Enterprises, is a key initiative in the Government's manifesto. Initially focusing on agricultural products, the Authority aims to eventually oversee all export activities. Dr. Faulalo's appointment is for a term of three years, during which he is expected to leverage his extensive background and skills to advance Samoa's export sector sustainably.


For further information, please contact the Government Press Secretariat.

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