Caption: Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr Feleti P Teo.
Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr. Feleti Penitala Teo, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his distinguished public service career to Tuvalu.
The announcement was made as part of the Queen’s 2013 Birthday Honours. Mr Teo said he was delighted but very humbled by the award.
“This is an unexpected honour and I am very humbled and touched by the recognition and so delighted to learn of this award,” Mr Teo said. “Although, I have joined the regional bureaucracy for over ten years now, I have kept a close interest in the developmental challenges in Tuvalu and search for solutions and have contributed and lend support wherever and whenever required.” Mr Teo continued.
Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, said the Secretariat was delighted that one of its executives had been honoured with such a key award.
“It is a great occasion for the Secretariat and we congratulate Mr. Teo for his achievement. He is a deserving recipient of this award, as he is valued amongst our staff for his professional insights and contribution to effective policy development.”
Mr. Teo has served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) for six years. He is responsible for the Strategic Partnerships and Coordination Programme and Corporate Services of PIFS. In that capacity, Mr Teo has been instrumental in managing the implementation of the Pacific Plan currently under review; mobilizing resources to carry the delivery of the Forum Compact on strengthening development coordination; strengthening strategic partnerships with development partners and regional development actors; and spearheading ongoing corporate reforms designed to improve the service delivery performance of the Secretariat to name a few.
Mr. Teo has a long career of distinguished public service. Prior to his current role, he was Director General for the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency based in Honiara, Solomon Islands from 2000-2006. According to Mr Teo, that was a very challenging period trying to lead regional efforts to prepare for the establishment of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission against the backdrop of the onset of social disruptions in the Solomon Islands.
Significantly, Mr Teo was the first Tuvaluan to hold the position of Attorney General. A position he held for almost 10 years before he was appointed to head the Forum Fisheries Agency. Mr Teo also has the distinction of being the first Tuvaluan to qualify as a lawyer and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1986.
Mr. Teo holds a Bachelor Degree in Laws from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a Master Degree in Public Laws from the Australian National University, Australia.
About Mr. Teo, OBE:
Mr. Teo grew up mostly in Tuvalu. He left Tuvalu to continue his secondary school in New Zealand and then onto university. He is married with 4 children and is known to colleagues and friends as a hardworking, humble and a very approachable leader and moreover is very proud to be a Tuvaluan. He loves watching sports and plays a little bit of tennis and golf but walking and cycling are his main exercise routine.