The ROI is actively working on finalizing appointing a Board of Directors, and selecting an Advisory Panel of Eminent Persons to help guide the Institution. Please check back for updates.
The core team is:
Lord Fakafanua, Chairman
Lord Fakafanua embarked early on his political career. At age 24 he became one of the youngest Members of Parliament in Tongan history. At age 27, Lord Fakafanua assumed the role of Speaker of Parliament as the youngest ever elected by parliament to that office in Tonga and, at the time, the youngest Speaker in the world. Over the course of his political career, Lord Fakafanua has been engaged with monumental changes in the Tongan Parliament, including presiding over major political reform, and passionately advocating for greater representation for women in Parliament. During his term as Speaker, Lord Fakafanua sat on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Executive (CPA – EXCO) as a representative of Australasia, and entered the Tongan Parliament into the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) as the 164th member. In 2014 Lord Fakafanua took a break from politics to pursue further studies at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji and recently completed a Master of Arts in Diplomacy, Law and Business at the O.P. Jindal Global University, India. Lord Fakafanua has since resumed his role as the incumbent Speaker of Parliament after successfully getting re-elected in the November 2017 general elections.
Mr. Tevita Motulalo, Director of Research
Veteran journalist, academic and analyst, Mr. Tevita Motulalo is a non-resident Senior Researcher at Gateway House (the Indian Council on Global Relations) in Mumbai, where he specializes in Pacific geopolitics and security, as well as being a 2015-2016 Pacific Island Society (USA) Security Scholar. Mr. Motulalo received his MSc in Geopolitics and International Relations from Manipal University.
Lady Fane Fakafanua, Director of Operations
Fane was educated in Tonga, London and Australia, where she received her degree from the University of Sydney. Fane’s most recent position was as Private Secretary to the Ambassador of Japan in Tonga. Duties included drafting crucial speeches and letters for the Ambassador, organizing diplomatic and private sector events and meetings and protocol. She has over 9 years of human resource experience from international and local organisations. Fane’s devotion to the community, and to Tonga, is also expressed in her support and volunteer work for children with disabilities in Tonga. She recently completed a Master of Arts in Diplomacy, Law and Business at O.P. Jindal Global University, India.
The Royal Oceania Institute (ROI) is a new, independent, Tongan think tank. ROI’s goals are to support and pursue Pacific-centered, ethical, fact-based research and analysis. It will also facilitate open dialogue on topics relevant to community, sustainable development, and regional relations.
ROI grew out of an identifiable need for a non-partisan, permanent, accessible and reputable platform for building confidence and cooperation, and encouraging broad information sharing and understanding. One of the many advantages of this approach is that through better research and open dialogue, investments in development have a better chance of reaching their full potential for the benefit of all involved.
ROI will stringently pursue a policy of independence. Funding will not influence the direction, integrity or quality of its research. We are deeply committed to ROI’s vision for a resilient, prosperous, secure and independent Tonga in a strong, prosperous and secure Pacific.