WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League will be holding its JACL Gala (A Salute to Champions) in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 29.
One of the honorees will be Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1989. Re-elected in November 2010 to a 12th term, he is the only Samoan in Congress. He is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Natural Resources.
He is the first Asian Pacific American ever to chair the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Faleomavaega was lieutenant governor for American Samoa from 1985 to 1988 and deputy attorney general from 1981 to 1984. He served in the U.S. Army and is a Vietnam veteran. While serving in the Army Reserves, he was a captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was also a proud member of the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment, an Army Reserve unit in Honolulu.
Faleomavaega is a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and routinely supports matters of importance to the Asian American Pacific Islander community, including the JACL. He served as staff counsel to the late Rep. Phillip Burton of California and as chief of staff for Paramount Chief A.U. Fuimaono, who was American Samoa’s first elected representative to Washington, D.C. from 1973 to 1975.
The congressman holds a Master of Law degree from UC Berkeley and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law School. He also holds a BA in political science and history from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and an AA from Brigham Young University in Laie, Hawaii.
Faleomavaega was born in Vailoatai, American Samoa. He is married to Hinanui Bambridge Cae of Tahiti. They have five children and five grandchildren.
Floyd Mori, national executive director of JACL, stated, “It was my privilege to become acquainted with Eni Faleomavaega at BYU many years ago. We are proud of his great accomplishments and are happy to present an award to a very deserving person who has been a true champion. He was an outstanding athlete who also performed the traditional Samoan dances.”
The JACL Gala will also be honoring several outstanding individuals who made a name in sports. They will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.jacl.org.