Ielemia, Apisai (Tuvalu)
Apisai Ielemia took office in Aug. 2006, succeeding Maatia Toafa. He declared Tuvalu in immediate danger from rising sea levels and requested international assistance with evacuating and resettling residents. His other major priority was to address Tuvalu’s economic difficulties. He left office in Sept. 2010.
Born in Tuvalu on 19 Aug. 1955, Ielemia attended Hiram Bingham high school in Kiribati. In 1973 he entered the civil service and became island executive officer, based in Funafuti. From 1978–94 he was executive officer for the Tuvalu high commission and from 1994–98 was its first secretary.
From 1985–94 Ielemia was clerk to the Tuvalu parliament. In 1993 he graduated in management and political science from the University of the South Pacific in Suva in the Fiji Islands. In 1994 he became assistant secretary at the ministries of health and education and of foreign affairs and in 1998 was named permanent secretary at the ministry of tourism, trade and...