Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Ilon Nominated as Secretary of External Affairs

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): July 16, 1997 - FSM President Jacob Nena nominated Epel K. Ilon for the position of the Secretary of the Department of External Affairs and urged Congress to give its consent to his nomination. The nomination was transmitted to Congress Speaker Jack Fritz, July 9, 1997, with a letter from the President in which he states that Ilon "fits the expectations for leadership in the Department of External Affairs," thus he is being nominated.

His work experience included Deputy Secretary of the Department of External Affairs until his recent resignation as required by law; he was Chief , Division of U.S. Relations which was later organized to include all of Americas and Europe. He was FSM's Representative in Washington, D.C., for five years. Prior to that he served until late 1986, as Assistant Liaison Officer in the FSM Liaison Office in Washington, D.C. He moved to Pohnpei at the inception of the FSM Government.

Ilon is currently the Chairman of the Economic Management Policy Advisory Team (EMPAT); at the same time he serves as Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Government Restructuring and Reform; and he co-chairs the U.S. Pacific Island Nations Joint Commercial Commission on Trade and Investment Working Group. He was a delegate representing the Mortlocks in the Chuuk State Constitutional Convention. During the Trust Territory period, Mr. Ilon served on the Trust Territory Vocational Advisory Council among other boards and commissions.

Ilon was born in Mortlocks, Chuuk State in 1952, and attended primary and secondary schools until his senior year, when he transferred to the Saratoga Springs High School in New York under the American Field Service Scholarship, and graduated in 1970. He has his B.A. degree in Education from Chaminade College in Hawaii, and a M.S. degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from the State University of New York in Albany.

After graduation, Ilon taught for a year at Xavier High school in Chuuk and was an instructor for the College of Micronesia Extension Program in Chuuk.

Mr. Ilon has traveled on official business of the Federated States of Micronesia throughout the world, in various capacities including heading delegations to bilateral and multilateral meetings. Additionally, he has traveled to all four states of the FSM and to the Micronesian neighboring countries and territories. Through these contacts, he has established good working relationship with leaders and officials of various governments and institutions.

His long experience in government, particularly in foreign affairs, at various levels and capacities equips him well with the managerial, supervisory and policy-making, and formulating hands-on experiences. (With) His excellent communications skills, he is able to articulate matters clearly and work with other people in a positive and constructive manner. He is a man of principle, integrity and reliability.

Ilon is married to the former Benina Amond, and they have two daughters.

The Department, and indeed the nation, Nena added, will be well served by a person of Mr. Ilon's caliber. My office stands ready to provide additional information as you or your colleagues may wish, Nena concluded.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356