Tauese P. F. Sunia

Gov. Tauese P. F. Sunia

American Samoa

January 3, 1997 - March 27, 2003

August 29, 1941

March 26, 2003


Kearney State Teachers College, University of Hawaii, Golden Gate University

Died in office

Birth State
American Samoa

Married Fagaoalii Sunia; ten children


TAUESE P.F. SUNIA was born in Fagatogo, American Samoa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Kearny State Teachers’ College in Nebraska, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawaii, and an honorary doctorate from the Golden Gate University. Governor Sunia spent many years as a teacher, educational television instructor, administrator, American Samoa Community College vice president and territorial director of education. He practiced law and served as president of the American Samoa Bar Association from 1991 to 1992. One of his highest priorities was health care. He passed legislation to separate the LBJ Tropical Medical Center from the government and created a semi-autonomous authority to manage the hospital. He worked diligently towards his promise to make every child computer literate, and to ensure every school has a computer room with Internet access. He instituted the Dare to Compare standard, whereby students were measured against national educational benchmarks as opposed to local standards, thus raising the level and quality of education. He doubled funds for road programs and secured funding for village rural roads. Governor Sunia has been a deacon with the Congregational Church in American Samoa since 1971. He was elected chairman of the church in 1996, and was appointed to oversee all church affairs for American Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand, and the United States. Since 1968, he has served as a counselor for Samoan land and title cases. In 1984, the Manu’a District’s highest ranking talking chief title, “Tauese” was conferred upon him. He became the first American Samoan governor elected to two full consecutive terms.