PEPP’s founder and Executive Director is Richard K. Pruett, Esq., a former U.S. career Foreign Service officer who speaks three Oriental languages and has served as U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to six Pacific Island countries. He last served the U.S. Department of State as Senior Advisor in the Office of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs, where he focused on Pacific regional institutional architecture, maritime security, and environmental issues. He also authored the Department’s definitive statement of U.S. Government policy toward Fiji. Pruett’s Pacific tours included high-profile efforts to combat human trafficking, strengthen regional law enforcement, and dramatically expand U.S. technical vocational education and training. In June 2009, Pruett reopened the USG investigation into the 1937 disappearance of aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Pruett was one of the first two U.S. diplomats permanently assigned to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He was also part of the Department’s “A Team” that opened Embassy Baghdad in 2004, where he was credited with establishing the Mission’s first fully functioning administrative office. He has a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College, was Cornell University’s first exchange scholar with the People’s Republic of China, and holds bachelor degrees in History and Political Science from California State University - East Bay.
PEPP's new Deputy Executive Director is Anthony J. Mix, NP. Descended from generations of indigenous Micronesian traditional healers, Mix uses his extensive knowledge of tropical ethnobotany, herbalism, kinesiology, and applied medical anthropology to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses and maintain well-being. His naturopathic clinics in Manila, Philippines, use natural, non-pharmaceutical, and non-surgical healing methods to save or improve the lives of countless patients and is a fast-growing destination for off-island medical referrals from the Pacific Islands. Dr. Mix is a sought-after speaker at international conferences regarding medicinal plants. He can be just as lethal as he is nurturing. His Special Service Group International, contracted by the Governments of Australia, Japan, and the United States to protect their diplomatic missions in the Freely Associated States (FAS), was for many years the largest security firm in the region. As an Artilleryman and Forward Observer with the 1/487 Field Artillery and then as a Marine with the 113th Marine Expeditionary Unit-Special Operations Command, Mix earned a plethora of military specializations, ranging from demolitions to close quarter combat. He served honorably in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. He schooled at the University of Hawaii, San Marcos College in San Diego, and the Richter School of Naturopathy in Manila.
Dr. Marcelle Gallen has been Chief of the Division of Dental Services at Pohnpei State Hospital in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia since early 2001. She has served as Acting Director of the Department of Health Services for the State of Pohnpei many times since early 2004. Gallen has served on the Board of Directors for the Department of Education for the Pohnpei State Government since 2005. Since 2006, Gallen has also served on the Pohnpei State Government’s Board of Directors for the Personnel Review Board of the Department of Treasury & Administration. She served on the Board of Directors for Pohnpei Family Head Start, Inc. from December 2001 to July 2004. Gallen was Assistant Coach of the Pohnpei State’s Women’s Volleyball Team at the 2010 Micro Olympic Games in the Republic of Palau. After graduating from the Fiji School of Medicine and the University of the South Pacific with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree, Dr. Gallen performed her clinical training at numerous locations in the Republic of Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Kingdom of Tonga. She received other training at the Summer Institute in Clinical Research Methods at the University of Washington, in Seattle, Washington, in the United States and at the Community College of Micronesia.
PEPP Board member Marstella E. Jack, Esq., originally from Mokil Island, is a practicing attorney at law in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. She is a trailblazer for women in the Pacific and a leading Pacific voice on climate change, gender issues, and fisheries protection. Jack was formerly her nation’s first female Attorney General and Secretary of the Department of Justice. Prior to joining the president’s cabinet, Ms. Jack served as FSM Assistant Attorney General, as Pohnpei State Assistant Attorney General, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs, where Jack was the first female Foreign Service officer in the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs. Jack has served as principal legal advisor to the Pohnpei Environmental Protection Agency and as a board director of both the Micronesia Conservation Trust and the Pohnpei Women’s Advisory Council. She is also the sub-regional representative to the Board of Directors of the Pacific Concerns Resource Center. A Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, Jack earned a Master of Laws degree at the University of Hull and was only the second FSM citizen conferred a law degree from the University of the South Pacific.
PEPP Board Member Leo Tudela has been the Director of Asia-Pacific Relations for the United States Postal Service for 20 years. In this role, Tudela serves as U.S. Postal Service liaison to FAS presidents and governors and to U.S. embassies throughout the region. His areas of expertise include monitoring operations, providing technical assistance, ensuring contract compliance, and trouble-shooting issues related to the complex network of ships and flights transporting mail to the diverse and far-flung locales in his portfolio. Tudela’s Asia-Pacific oversight requires a deep and often arcane understanding of logistics, regulations and international diplomacy – not only with such international partners as China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and India, but especially with unique partners such as the Freely Associated States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. In his 44-year postal career, Tudela has held numerous leadership positions throughout the United States. As Vice President for the USPS Southeast Area encompassing the U.S. states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, he was responsible for 97,000 employees and a $3.7 billion budget. As the District Manager for the Southern Florida District, he was instrumental in reestablishing local postal operations after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. With his long and distinguished record of service, this Chamorro-speaking island boy, born in Saipan and raised in Guam, was a natural choice for his current position. Mr. Tudela took his undergraduate and graduate training from California State University – East Bay, where he studied Sociology and Public Administration.
Rounding out PEPP’s Board of Directors is Ms. Roylinne Wada, the foremost authority on public health issues in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Island (USAPI) countries and territories, if not the entire Western and Central Pacific. Wada is a senior health care specialist who served, from 2003-2013, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs of the U.S. Department of the Interior, managing health sector issues for all Compact states out of DOI’s Honolulu Field Office, which she established and coordinated from 2003-2006. For over 26 years, Wada taught Nursing and Public Health at the School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Hawaii. She has also served as a public health researcher for the Hawaii State Legislature and as Executive Director of the Pacific Island Health Officers Association. Wada was a principal in landmark health care studies for the U.S. Congress, represented the USAPI on a White House health care task force, and helped to negotiate the Amended Compacts with the FSM and RMI. Wada has a Masters of Public Health, a Masters of Science in Nursing, and a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Hawaii. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Linfield College, Oregon.
Fredrick Fisch, Esq.is PEPP's U.S.-based attorney and Privacy Officer. He has served as in-house legal counsel with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) since 1988, the last 16 years as a senior manager in its Legal Department. For 12 of those years, Mr. Fisch served as the Chief of the FDIC’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Office, with responsibility and full delegated authority for all non-press information releases to the public. As Office Chief, he also controlled the FDIC’s privacy policies under the Privacy Act of 1974, the Right to Financial Privacy Act, and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. Mr. Fisch established the file control protocols ensuring the FDIC's proper safeguarding of the private information of its employees and third parties interacting with the FDIC. Mr. Fisch also controlled the releases of any government information under the Sunshine Act and carefully supervised the review of records created by the highest officials in the FDIC. Mr. Fisch began his private practice of law in Colorado, focusing on corporate law, federal agency law, information management and privacy compliance. He was admitted to the bar in both Colorado and Wyoming after obtaining his Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming, where his academic background was in water law, energy development, and mineral taxation. Mr. Fisch has an extensive record of success in litigation and transactional work in state and federal courts, as both a senior manager and staff lawyer, and a solid background in legal compliance, ethics and corporate matters.
A senior traditional leader of Fiji, the Roko Tui Bau Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi was a member of PEPP's Board of Directors until his death September 29, 2016. Rt. Joni was the last Vice President of Fiji, appointed in 2005. A graduate of Adelaide (LLB) and McGill (LLM) Universities, Rt. Joni began his legal career in the Attorney General's Chambers in Suva, subsequently serving as Permanent Arbitrator and later as a Judge. He was in private practice for several years before his appointment as Vice President, returning to private practice in 2007 upon his dismissal by the coup government. A staunch supporter of human rights, Rt. Joni assisted Solomon Islands as a member of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 2009-2011. He was awarded the Samoan orator title of Suluape, named a justice of the Supreme Court of Nauru, and created a life peer, law lord and privy councilor of Tonga by the late King George Tupou V. H.M. King George Tupou VI of Tonga, HRH Masiofo Filifilia Tamasese nee Imo of Samoa, and numerous high chiefs of Fiji attended Rt. Joni's funeral. Rt. Joni will be remembered by PEPP as an early supportive friend and passionate advocate of initiatives for managing global climate change.
U.S. Ambassador C. Steven McGann was PePP's original Deputy Director. He passed away May 26, 2023. Until his passing the managing director of The Stevenson Group, a Washington DC consultancy, Amb. McGann was previously Vice Chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs at National Defense University in Washington, DC, Amb. McGann was a Senior U.S. Foreign Service officer who served as Ambassador to five Pacific Island countries. He was the first person to be named U.S. Representative to the Pacific Islands Forum and was the chief U.S. interlocutor to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Amb. McGann was a principal architect of the U.S. Government's deeper Pacific engagement, first signaled by the 2007 "Year of the Pacific" he conceptualized as Director of the Office for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs in the Bureau for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He was instrumental in the negotiation of several effective new "shiprider" agreements, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s return to the Pacific, and the expansion of the U.S. diplomatic presence in the Pacific. Earlier, Amb. McGann also played pivotal roles in overseeing U.S. assistance to at-risk populations and refugees in South Asia and in coordinating the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. During his first UN posting, Amb. McGann chaired a coalition of Pacific Island countries that spearheaded adoption of the UNGA resolution to ban large-scale pelagic driftnet-fishing, presaging his later Pacific expertise. Amb. McGann had a Master of Science degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University. He will be sorely missed.