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Press Release January 6, 2000


Ms. Lourdes Pangelinan today takes over the leadership of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) from her acclaimed predecessor, Dr. Bob Dun. Her appointment as Director-General was described as "an achievement for all the women of the region" at the first Conference of the Pacific Community, which appointed her in December. She is now on record as the first woman to lead a Pacific regional organization.

Ms. Pangelinan's background is impressive. Prior to her four years' experience working as Deputy Director-General at SPC, she worked in the Executive Branch of her national Government of Guam. For eight years she was Guam's Chief of Staff, and she also worked in management positions in the Legislative Branch and also the Judicial Branch of the Government.

The Pacific Conference, comprising Government Representatives from all SPC's 27 member countries and territories, was unanimous in its praise of "the outstanding achievement" of outgoing Director-General, Dr. Bob Dun, who, over his four years of office, rebuilt the SPC to become the modern, technical organization it is today, striving to address the development needs of the region. Under his guidance, SPC, the oldest regional organization, has lifted its image and reputation as a thriving, open, effective and forward-looking organization that has learned to swim in change. Backed by strong leadership of his two Deputies -- Dr. Jimmie Rodgers heading a team in Suva and Pangelinan in Noumea -- the SPC has strengthened its technical professional capabilities through its potent team of professional staff.

Dr. Dun's performance is indeed "a hard act to follow."

Ms. Pangelinan agrees. "My task", she says, "is to continue to ensure the administrative efficiency of the organization, and to pursue the major goals initiated during Bob's term of office, namely:

1. Seek rationalization of Pacific regional organizations and integration with SOPAC (South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission)

2. Focus on the question of providing excellent service to our clients, by looking at the impact SPC Programs have on the region

3. While maintaining its headquarters strength, pursue decentralization of SPC activities in other parts of the region, (as is already the case with SPC bases in Suva, Honiara, and the Federated States of Micronesia), perhaps in the area of aquaculture research with the assistance of donor partners.

Dr. Dun, returning today (January 6, 2000) to family life in Canberra, Australia, said, "It's good to see the leadership of the SPC coming back to the Islands where it belongs; and it's a nice time for me to go home, knowing I'm leaving the organization in such good hands".

Contact: Sarah Langi English Editor Secretariat of the Pacific Community BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex New Caledonia Tel +687 26 01 96  SarahL@spc.org.nc  

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