Congressman Faleomavaega has been representing the territory of American Samoa in the United States Congress since 1989. Re-elected in November, 2010 to a twelfth term by the people of American Samoa, Faleomavaega is the longest serving and only Samoan in the U.S. Congress.
Faleomavaega is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources. He is the first Asian Pacific American ever to Chair the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and now serves as Ranking Member.
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has Congressional oversight responsibilities over: Relations of the United States with foreign nations; Acquisitions of land and buildings for embassies and legations in foreign countries; Establishment of boundary lines between the United States and foreign nations; Export controls, including nonproliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware; International commodity agreements including all agreements for cooperation in the export of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware; Intervention abroad and declarations of war; Diplomatic service; Measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business abroad; International economic policy; Protection of American citizens abroad and expatriation; and United Nations organizations.
Under the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Faleomavaega is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. The Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific has broad oversight and jurisdiction over U.S. foreign policies affecting Australia, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macau Special Administrative Region), Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, North Korea, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.
Faleomavaega is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere which has oversight and jurisdiction over countries including Central and South America and Canada.
On the Natural Resources Committee, Faleomavaega serves on the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, and the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
The Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs has broad oversight and jurisdiction to set federal policy for each of the U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (except those affecting the revenue and appropriations). It oversees matters regarding the Compact relationship between the U.S. and the Freely Associated States of Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia as well as programs administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources has oversight and jurisdiction over the production of energy and mineral resources located on lands owned or managed by the federal government. The subcommittee also oversees the federal government’s collection of royalties – or a share of the proceeds – that energy companies are required to pay in return for the right to drill on federal lands and in federal waters.
Faleomavaega is a member of the Congressional Asia Pacific American Caucus. He is Vice Chair of the Army Reserve Component of the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus. He is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the Congressional Oceans Caucus, and the Congressional Native American Caucus.
Faleomavaega served as Staff Counsel to the late Congressman Phillip Burton of California who was then chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs. He also served as Chief of Staff for Paramount Chief A.U. Fuimaono who was American Samoa’s first elected Representative to Washington, DC from 1973 to 1975.
Faleomavaega was Lieutenant Governor for American Samoa from 1985 to 1988. Prior to this, he was Deputy Attorney General for American Samoa from 1981 to 1984.
Faleomavaega served in the U.S. Army and is a Vietnam Veteran (1967-1968). He served in the Army Reserve where he was a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was also a proud member of the 100 Battalion 442 Infantry Reserve Unit, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Congressman Faleomavaega holds a Master of Law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law School. He also holds a BA degree in Political Science and History from Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah and an AA degree from Brigham Young University at Laie, Hawaii.
Faleomavaega is the author of Navigating the Future: A Samoan Perspective in U.S.-Pacific Relations. In his book, he “outlines ways in which relations between the United States and the Pacific can be improved to mutual advantage and calls for deeper understanding of the exceedingly diverse cultures and socio-political systems of this vast region,” says Professor Ron Crocombe of The Institute of Pacific Studies.
Faleomavaega served as a crew member of the famous Hawaiian-Polynesian canoe named Hokule’a which sailed from Tahiti to Hawaii in 1987.
The Congressman holds the traditional Samoan chieftain title “Faleomavaega” of the Faiivae family in Leone, American Samoa.
Congressman Faleomavaega was born in Vailoatai, American Samoa. He is married to Hinanui Bambridge Cave of Tahiti and they have five children and five grandchildren.