The Professional Fellows Program Oceania (PFP Oceania) is a two-way, global exchange program that focuses on economic empowerment, exploring how systems can support innovation and sustainable economic development and helping participants build their capacities in growing regional entrepreneurship, business leadership, and workforce development. Fellows are placed in intensive four-week fellowships in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across the U.S. for an individually tailored professional development experience.

Pacific Fellows will build a broad network of contacts with American and other program participant colleagues as they develop a deeper understanding of U.S. society and enhance their professional skills while broadening their professional network within the U.S. American participants who have hosted Pacific Fellows also travel overseas for participant-driven reciprocal programs.

Program Goals:

  • Promote mutual understanding and lasting partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from the Pacific and the United States.
  • Provide opportunities for non-U.S. and American emerging leaders to collaborate and share ideas, approaches, and strategies regarding pressing challenges.
  • Enhance leadership and professional skills for both non-U.S. and American Fellows to encourage positive change in their workplaces and communities.
  • Build a global network of like-minded professionals.

The US Global Hub of Future Earth has hosted 4 fellows in the 2022-2023 fellowship year. Fellows arrived in the US in October of 2022 and in May of 2023:

Tala Simeti, Tuvalu – October 2022

Tala works as the Chief Fisheries Economist for the Government of Tuvalu. Tala’s passion for marine resource economics and management drives his work to ensure that Tuvalu’s marine resources are treated and regulated as sustainable investments considering they are the primary source of Tuvalu’s food and financial revenue. He is interested in researching strategies to maximize and protect these valuable resources so that they can grow and develop sustainably. As part of his fellowship, Tala is interested in working with an environmental organization that can help him with project development and implementation surrounding marine resource management, such as protection advocacy strategies or physical remediation plans for depleted marine areas.

Host: Erica Key

Viliami Takau, Tonga – October 2022 

Viliami is working as a Communications Officer at DT Global, an international development company dedicated to innovative program design. Viliami’s recent professional work has focused on implementing Tonga’s national plan disaster risk management and climate change projects. He frequently advocates and liaises between communities and the national government in preparation of mutually beneficial program proposals and implementation plans. Viliami is interested in working with an organization that similarly focuses on disaster risk management, climate change mitigation, and/or community education/training programs. For his follow-on project, Viliami is interested in creating programming that can provide support and education to outer islands and rural populations on how to source and utilize funding opportunities that alleviate these stressors on under-resourced communities.

Host: Judit Ungvari

Teiba Riongary Mamu, Solomon Islands – May 2023

Teiba is working as a National Coordinator for the Small Grants Program at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In this role, he manages the disbursement of funds to support community-based organizations in the implementation of environmental projects. He also supports and advises rural community members in the grant management and application for public funding to implement such projects. As part of his fellowship, Teiba is interested in working with an environmental organization that can help him with the development of grant management and application resources to share with rural communities.

Host: Makyba Charles-Ayinde

Mohsen Riaz ud Dean, Fiji – May 2023

Mohseen is responsible for Community Research, Ethnography, and Solutions Mapping at the United Nations Development Program. In this role, Mohseen manages experiments that further the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Pacific. His interest lies in developing an individual follow up activity that will focus on the intersections of Pacific indigenous knowledge systems, disaster risk reduction, and climate change as they impact the sustainable development in the region.

Host: Judit Ungvari

U.S. Global Hub Director Erica Key traveled to Oceania in April for the exchange visit. Below is a snapshot of the experience.