HONOLULU, HI (February 1, 2022) – Quarter 4 of the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) commenced Monday, January 24, 2022. The twenty-three ELDP participants are in the final stretch of completing the program, which is supported by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs and administered by the Graduate School USA.
Unlike cohorts in the past, the 2021 ELDP is being held virtually throughout the entire program duration. As part of the final quarter, ELDP participants are divided into three teams to compete in a simulation exercise. The Republic of Micro-Poly, a fictional country in the Pacific, is faced with severe fiscal and economic crises, and participants have less than six weeks to diagnose and recommend a policy reform program. H.E. Surangel Whipps, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, interrupted proceedings to surprise participants in his role as the President of Micro-Poly. He delivered remarks that included significant updates regarding his expectations and the critical importance that their recommended policies will have on the government and people of Micro-Poly.
In addressing the future leaders and policymakers of the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands, President Whipps emphasized that “sometimes you have to make tough choices, and that’s hard, but we have to look at the long-term picture. I always turn back to say that we have to look at our children, and ask what will our children’s future look like? And sometimes we have to make sacrifices now so that our children’s lives can be better. I think when we look at it on a long-term basis, it makes it easier for us too.”
President Whipps has graciously agreed to serve as the President of Micro-Poly to receive final reform presentations from each of the three ELDP teams in March.
To conclude his remarks, President Whipps reflected on the importance of the ELDP, the skills learned, and the significant impact the program has had in the region. “You know, I think this is a fantastic program. I work with people who have been through the [ELDP] program, which helps build capacity. It helps you better manage and contribute to your country, and I think this is a great experience.”
As most of us know, spending long hours on Zoom can get exhausting, especially for those government professionals who already spend hours in front of a computer screen. ELDP participants were thrilled to hear motivating words from President Whipps, which highlighted the importance of their commitment to the ELDP and their continued work in the insular areas.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs commissioned the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) in 2008 to assist the insular governments with developing and retaining the qualified and skilled staff needed to lead insular governments into the future. The ELDP serves as the premier leadership development program for government employees throughout the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. For more information about the program, visit https://pitiviti.org/about-the-eldp