About Pacific Elders Voice
Pacific Elders’ Voice is an independent group of prominent leaders. They are dedicated to serving the Pacific’s current and future challenges and opportunities.
Our purpose is to provide guidance and advice that will strengthen Pacific resilience. In particular to current and future environmental, security, and human rights threats. We provide constructive policy inputs for current and future challenges and opportunities facing the Pacific Nations.
Central to our values are that we are pacific lead as an organisation. This is critical to ensure we have custodianship and connection across the region. In our endeavours, we will ensure justice is at the forefront of our work. Working with Pacific groups, we will empower our youth and continue striving for Pacific independence.
- Ambassador Kaliopate TavolaAmbassador Kaliopate Tavola
Kaliopate Tavola worked for the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forests. During his 11 tenure, he became the chief economist.
He next joined Fiji Sugar Marketing Co Ltd. He spent 4 years in London and a further 3 in Brussels working for them. During that period, he was also a diplomat. First as a Commercial Counsellor in London and as Head of Mission in Brussels. Over 10 years in Brussels, he represented Fiji across the EU. Returning to Fiji after 14 years, he re-joined FSM Co Ltd as its Deputy Chief Executive.
He next went into politics as Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade from 2000 to late 2006. He operated as a consultant for more than 10 years focused on ACP-EU Relations, Pacific Regionalism and Green Growth.
He is now fully retired and writes short articles, including various posts for his website: kaidravuni.com
- Senator Dr. Hilda Cathy HeineSenator Dr. Hilda Cathy Heine
Dr. Hilda Cathy Heine, was the eighth President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 2016 -2020. She was also the first woman to serve as president and head of state in any Micronesia.
Dr Heine also served as Minister of Education. Her current role is as a senator representing Aur Atoll. She has an
In 1987, she co-founded the women's rights group Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI).
As President, Dr Heine has been a strong advocate for decisive climate action. Urging all countries to take action to reduce greenhouse gasses.
She is chair and Pro-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific Board. She is also a member of the East West Centre and many international forums.
- President Tommy E. Remengesau, JrPresident Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr
Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. has served 36 years of elected public service. After the senate, he spent 8 years as Vice President, before serving as President for 16 years.
Known for his strong leadership in nature conservation, Palau’s waters were the first to become a fully protected Shark Sanctuary. Ensuring no deep-sea mining or extraction.
He received the “The Champion of the Earth award”. This top accolade given by the UN was due to his Pacific Islands Environmental Leadership. In 2007 TIME Magazine also named him one of the heroes of the environment.
He enjoys fishing, boating and scuba diving and was part of the first human expedition of the deepest underwater part of Palau.
- Dame Meg TaylorDame Meg Taylor
Meg Taylor DBE experience straddles both the public and private sector. This is at a national, regional and international level.
She lead the World Bank Group private sector arm for 15 years. In this time she established and developed a dispute resolution and accountability mechanism.
An experienced legal practitioner in corporate and regulatory matters. She has also served on the Papua New Guinea Law Reform Commission.
She represented PNG as Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico for 5 years. She was also Secretary General to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) from 2015 to 2021.
She currently serves as a Deputy Chair of the largest superannuation company in PNG, Nambawan Super Limited. Alongside this she is Director of the PNG Sustainable Development Program. A strong advocate for constitutional processes, good governance and democracy. This includes an active role pushing forward the role of civil society.
- Professor Konai Helu ThamanProfessor Konai Helu Thaman
Born and raised in Tonga, Konai spent a career working at the University of the South Pacific. The most recent role there was as Personal Chair in Pacific education and culture. Between 1998 and 2016, She was the UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education and Culture.
Konai has researched and published in a many areas. Most recently, she worked on pacific research frameworks and education for sustainable development.
She served as a joint ILO member and the UNESCO committee. providing recommendations on the status of teachers. Konai’s a fellow of the Asia Pacific Centre for Educational Innovations in Development. She, is also a UNESCO Global Monitoring Committee for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD).
- Hon Enele SopoagaHon Enele Sopoaga
Enele Sopoaga served as Prime Minister of Tuvalu from 2013 - 2019. Currently, he is an elected member of Parliament.
His other roles include, High Commissioner and representative of Tuvalu to the UN. Enele has been Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, AOSIS and the Chief Negotiator in UNFCCC.
He was instrumental in the Paris Agreement adoption. A consistent, ardent voice for the climate threats to the Atoll islands in the Pacific.
He's trained in diplomacy and as a teacher, serving in the education sector before moving into public service. His over 30 years of experience at local and regional levels in the Pacific. Only matched by his experience in International affairs and development issues.
- President Anote TongPresident Anote Tong
Anote Tong was President of the Republic of Kiribati from 2003 to 2016. On leaving office, he joined Conservation International from 2016 to 2018.
In 2008, Anote was responsible for declaring the world's largest marine protected area. Closing off over 400 thousand square km of the Pheonix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). PIPA is a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO.
Anote Tong was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He won the Sun Hak Peace Prize in 2015, the Peter Benchley Awardand the Edmund Hilary Award as well as many more. He has a BSC, Masters in Economics and an Honorary Doctorates in Engineering and Law.
To this day he continues to speak on a worldwide basis at conferences and institutions.
- Professor Robert UnderwoodProfessor Robert Underwood
Robert A Underwood is a former member of the US Congress. This is as the Delegate from Guam and President Emeritus of the University of Guam. His commitment is to the well-being of the Chamoru people, Guam and the entire Micronesian Region.
An expert in language policy, political status change, legislative processes and educational systems. His public service includes the management of a regional education training centre. A lifelong educator who, for years, educated teachers as Dean of the College of Education. Robert, as a consultant, also guided many more teachers for regional governments.
Robert's early advocacy focused on Indigenous issues in regional and International forums. He's dedicated to having an autonomous region and confronting colonialism.