Dr Colin Tukuitonga took up the post of Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) on January 23, 2014.
He will be based at SPC’s headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Dr Tukuitonga, who is from Niue, has a first-hand appreciation of the development challenges facing the Pacific and more than 27 years’ experience working in a variety of roles, including as a clinician, academic, programme manager and consultant adviser.
Recent roles as Director of SPC’s Public Health Division since December 2012 and earlier as a member of the team that carried out an independent external review of SPC in the first half of 2012 have given him a sound understanding of SPC’s operations.
He has worked in Niue, Fiji, New Zealand and Switzerland in senior roles including Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs of the New Zealand Government; Associate Professor of Public Health and Head of Pacific and International Health at the University of Auckland; Director of Public Health in the New Zealand Ministry of Health; and Head of Surveillance and Prevention of Chronic Diseases with the World Health Organization in Geneva.
Dr Tukuitonga takes over leadership of SPC from outgoing Director-General, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, who has just completed eight years in the position. He thanked Dr Rodgers for his outstanding contribution to SPC and the region during his term in office and wished him every success in future endeavours.