The Chuuk Advisory Group on Education Reform (the “Advisory Group”) is currently made up of three members: Patrick U. Tellei, EdD; Francis X. Hezel, SJ; and Thomas Bussanich.

Patrick U. Tellei, EdD

Patrick U. Tellei

Born and raised in Palau, Patrick Ubal Tellei returned to Palau to become the President of his alma-mater, Palau Community College. He holds a EdD Degree from the University of San Diego, a Masters Degree from University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as a Bachelors Degree from University of Hawaii at Manoa, and an Associate Degree from Micronesian Occupational College in Palau.

Before becoming President of Palau Community College, his employment journey took him from Palau as a Carpenter with the Palau National Government Public Works, to Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia as a High School Principal, to Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia as a Curriculum Development Coordinator, and to Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands as Associate Commissioner for the Public School System. He has served and continues to serve on numerous boards and commissions, including Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior College of the Western Association of School and Colleges, Pacific Post Secondary Education Council, REL-Pacific Board of Directors, Asia Pacific Association for Fiduciary Studies Board of Directors, and Palau International Coral Reef Center Board of Directors.

Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Francis X. Hezel, SJ is a Jesuit priest who has been working in Micronesia for nearly fifty years. He spent part of this time as a teacher, principal and director at Xavier High School, Chuuk. He also served as the director of Micronesian Seminar, a Jesuit-sponsored research-pastoral institute engaged in extensive community education work, from 1972-2011. In this capacity he has spoken widely about social change and its impact on island systems and societies. Improving education in Micronesia has been a recurrent theme throughout much of his work—whether publications, articles, or radio programs.

Father Hezel has also written dozens of articles and five books on Micronesian history, including The First Taint of Civilization and Strangers in Their Own Land. His latest book, The New Shape of Old Island Cultures, explores the extent of social change throughout the region since the end of World War II.

Thomas Bussanich

Thomas Bussanich

Tom Bussanich is the Director of the Division of Budget and Grants Management in the Office of Insular Affairs, United States Department of the Interior. A graduate the of the University of Colorado, he has been engaged in Pacific Island affairs since 1978, when he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chuuk, FSM. He also served as the acting Director of Administrative Services in Yap, FSM, and was the Budget Officer of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia in Pohnpei.

Returning from Micronesia in 1986, Mr. Bussanich worked as the Federal Programs Coordinator for the FSM Embassy. In 1990, he left that post to work in the central budget office of the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C. He returned to work on Pacific islands issues in 1991, joining the staff of the Office of Insular Affairs. Mr. Bussanich was appointed Director of the Budget and Grants Management Division in 2005. His office oversees budget functions of OIA, and manages all capital improvement, maintenance assistance and brown tree snake programs. He also leads the implementation teams for the Compacts of Free Association in Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the FSM. Mr. Bussanich was Interior’s project manager for the Palau Compact Road.