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PIANGO appoints Tonga’s Siale as Deputy Executive Director

Emeline Siale Ilolahia

SUVA, Fiji – August 21, 2018: 9.20am (PIANGO): The Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations  (PIANGO) has a new Deputy Executive Director.

Long-time Tongan civil society leader Ms Emeline Siale IlolahiaKolomotu’a joined PIANGO earlier this year taking up the new role to strengthen PIANGO’s focus on its member countries in the region.

PIANGO Executive Director EmeleDuituturaga said Ms Ilolahia’s appointment is an asset to regional headquarters as she comes with experience of leading PIANGO’s Tonga affiliate. In its 26-year history, PIANGO has served the Pacific through strengthening and building the capacity of the civil society and had been looking for an experienced, suitably-qualified and dynamic individual to fill the position.

Ms Duituturaga said in more recent years, PIANGO has been focused on regional and global advocacy, but as a membership-based organisation, the needs of its members remain paramount.


The PIANGO Board made the recruitment earlier this year, following wide advertisement of the position. With a work permit recently granted by the Fiji Government, Ms Ilolahia is now based in Suva at the PIANGO Secretariat headquarters.

“We are excited to have Ms Ilolahia join the PIANGO regional Secretariat to strengthen our work with our members and civil society in the Islands,” Ms Duituturaga said.

One of her first regional responsibilities is to lead the PIANGO preparations for the upcoming Nauru 49th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting.


Ms Ilolahia, who was previously the executive director of Civil Society Forum of Tonga before her appointment in Suva, holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of the South Pacific, Graduate Diploma in Non-For-Profit Management from Unitec, New Zealand, and Graduate Diploma in Public Sector from Massey University, New Zealand.

She will lead PIANGO’s focus in strengthening, and providing capacity building support to its membership network of national umbrella NGOs who are its national focal points and coordinating bodies known as National Liaison Units (NLUs) in 24 countries and territories throughout the Pacific.

On her new role, Ms Ilolahia said she still had a lot to learn in her new role regarding regional and global advocacy but “I draw strength and confidence from the fact that PIANGO is family”.

“I can still do my best in PIANGO and the positive impact of strengthening Civil Society network can benefit other Pacific NLUs including Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT), I am just relocating to live in Fiji with the intension to work with regional CSOs and make a difference in the lives of Pacific islanders,” she said.

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