JUAN N. BABAUTA, the oldest son in a family of nine children, was born on Saipan on September 7, 1953, and spent his early childhood in the village of Tanapag. After he completed elementary school there, his parents sent him to the United States to further his education. He traveled to Vermont, where he lived on a dairy farm with a host family while attending Enosburg Falls High School. He attended a summer session at Johnson State College in Vermont before he obtained Bachelor of Science degree in American history from Eastern New Mexico University, a master of arts degree in political science and American history from Eastern New Mexico University, and a master of science degree in health planning and administration from the University of Cincinnati. Babauta worked as a health planner for the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands on Saipan from April to August of 1977. He returned to that position after earning his degree and served as executive director for the Commonwealth Health Planning and Development Agency from May 1979 to January 1986.
Babauta’s public service career began with his election to a four-year term as senator, serving in the Fifth and Sixth Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislatures. At the end of his term as senator, Babauta was elected as resident representative to the United States, a position he held for three four-year terms.
During his tenure he obtained official recognition from the U.S. Department of the Navy for the Saipan Scouts after a fifty-year wait and assured an equal opportunity for CNMI students to learn and serve at U.S. military academies. In an historic four-way race, Babauta was overwhelmingly elected governor in 2001 and sworn in on January 14, 2002.
National Governors Association. Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, 2002.