The East-West Center’s Board of Governors has elected former Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine to be one of the board’s five international members.

“We are honored and delighted to have President Heine joining us on the EWC Board of Governors,” said Board Chairman James Scott in a press release Friday. “I cannot think of a better person to represent the Pacific Islands on the board, and to help guide this special institution.”

Hilda Heine. EWC

Said Heine, “The Center can play a pivotal role in promoting political, social, and cultural understanding between the United States and the Pacific and Asia region, and the role of the board is critical to ensuring this takes place. I look forward to learning from the esteemed members and being an effective voice of the Pacific Islands on the board.”

The East-West Center Board of Governors has 18 members. The Hawaii governor and the U.S. Secretary of State each appoint five members.

These 10 members then select five more members from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

As well, there are three ex-officio members: the governor, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the University of Hawaii president.

Hilda Cathy Heine, Ed.D., served as the eighth president of the Marshall Islands from 2016 to January 2020. She is the first woman to serve as president of the RMI and the first woman to serve as head of state in any of the five Micronesian countries of the North Pacific, according to EWC.

Heine was also the first person in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree.

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