Togiola T. A. Tulafono became acting governor on March 26, 2003, following Governor Tauese P.F. Sunia’s sudden death. He was sworn in as governor of American Samoa on April 7, 2003.
A lawyer with approximately 20 years in private practice, Tulafono has been a policeman, administrative assistant for the secretary of Samoan affairs, Samoan assistant to the attorney general, district court judge, senator for Saole County for four years, senator for Sua County for eight years, first chairman of the board of directors for the American Samoa Power Authority and first chairman of the Board of Higher Education. He served as lieutenant governor of American Samoa from 1997 until April 2003.
Tulafono was elected as governor on November 16, 2004. He has been a deacon for more than 25 years at the Congregational Christian Church in Sa’ilele, American Samoa, and presently serves as vice chairman of the territorial church general assembly. He was educated at Samoana High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Chadron State College in Nebraska and also received a doctor of laws degree from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas.