New US envoy to Samoa presents credentials

 

The United States Ambassador Scott Brown and wife Gail Brown and His Highness the Head of State Tuimalealiifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvi 11 and Masiofo Fa’amausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 27 JULY 2017: The new Ambassador of the United States of America to Samoa, H.E. Mr. Scott Brown presented his Letter of Credence to the Head of State of the Independent State of Samoa, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvi II, at the Head of State’s official residence at Vailele this morning.

Ambassador Scott said although the diplomatic ties between Samoa and America officially started in 1971, but the friendship between the two countries goes back to centuries and their relationship is built on mutual trust and he hopes to continue on building and strengthening those ties.

“We are connected by a common history and linked by the Pacific Ocean, shared values and democracy, freedom, fair economic opportunities and participation in the global community,” said Ambassador Scott.

He said as a Senator in the United States, fishery was one of his priorities.

“I look forward in helping protect the fish stocks as the livelihood of the Samoan people,” said Ambassador Scott.

He also pointed out health, education and agriculture as areas of longstanding cooperation and he wants to do more to assist Samoa in these areas.

His Highness Tuimalealiifano acknowledged the contribution of the US Peace Corps established in Samoa in 1967 as one of the many mutually beneficial partnerships between the two countries.

“Both countries pursue issues of common interest and concern either through regional organisations such as SPREP or on the international level such as the United Nations,” said His Highness.

“Our two countries are parties to many international and intergovernmental conventions,” said His Highness.

Ambassador Scott also commended Samoa for chairing and hosting the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in September and His Highness Tuimalealiifano welcomed the commitment by the United States to work closely on issues such as the environment, fisheries, human rights and sustainable development in the Pacific region.

Ambassador Brown was born on 12th September, 1959 in Kittery, Maine and earned a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.  He has Honorary Doctorates from Lasell College (Humanitarian Letters) and Nichols College (Public Administration).

Ambassador Brown was nominated to be the Ambassador of the United States of America to Samoa and New Zealand by President Donald Trump on April 20, 2017.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Ambassador Brown’s appointment on June 8, 2017 and he was sworn in by the Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan on June 15, 2017.  He was overwhelmingly confirmed by the U.S. Senate and was the second Ambassador worldwide to assume duties for the Trump administration, thus highlighting the importance of the U.S. relationship with Samoa and New Zealand.  He is a prominent political leader, attorney, and National Guardsman with a long history of public service.

He is a former U.S. Senator and during his time in the Senate, he was known as the most bipartisan Senator. He was the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, as well as the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, as well as a member of the Veteran’s Committee and the Committee on Small Business.  As an elected official, he worked extensively on sex offender, child trafficking and other law enforcement issues to keep children and families safe.

Ambassador Brown served in the enlisted and officer ranks of the Massachusetts and Maryland National Guard.  He retired as a Colonel after 35 years of service, the last four of which he served as the Deputy to the Chief Counsel to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon.  While maintaining his law practice he was also a contracted contributor and analyst for Fox National News.

The Ambassador will depart Samoa with his wife over the weekend to return to Wellington, New Zealand where he is based.