Eni Faleomavaega

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Eni Faleomavaega
Faleomavaega Portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from American Samoa's At-large district
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Fofó Sunia
Succeeded by Amata Coleman Radewagen
3rd Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 2, 1989
Governor A. P. Lutali
Preceded by Tufele Liamatua
Succeeded by Galea'i Peni Poumele
Personal details
Born (1943-08-15) August 15, 1943 (age 72)
Vailoatai, American Samoa, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Hinanui Bambridge Cave
Children 5
Alma mater Brigham Young University, Hawaii
Brigham Young University, Utah
University of Houston
University of California, Berkeley
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
Awards Army Commendation Medal
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
 • United States Army Reserve
Years of service 1966–1969 (Active)
1982–1990 (Reserve)
Rank US military captain's rank.gif Captain
Unit 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr. (/ˈɛn fəˌl.mɑːvəˈɛŋɡə/; born August 15, 1943) is an American Samoan politician, a former Delegate to the United States House of Representatives from American Samoa's at-large congressional district.[1]


Personal life[edit]

Faleomavaega was born in Vailoatai Village, American Samoa, but he grew up in Oahu, Hawaii. He graduated from Kahuku High School and attended Brigham Young University-Hawaii, where he earned his associate degree. He then transferred to Brigham Young University's main campus in Utah and earned a bachelor's degree in political science. He attended the University of Houston Law Center and the UC-Berkeley, earning his Juris Doctor and Master of Law degrees. He served in the United States Army from 1966–69, and as an officer in the United States Army Reserve from 1982 to 1989. He served in the Vietnam War and left the military with the rank of captain. He and his wife are active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[2]

Faleomavaega has suffered from complications that he has said are from his exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.[3][4] This may have contributed to his 2014 election defeat.[3][4]

Early political career[edit]

Faleomavaega served as the administrative assistant to American Samoa Delegate A.U. Fuimaono from 1973 to 1975 and as staff counsel for the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs from 1975 to 1981. He worked as Deputy Attorney General for the territory of American Samoa between 1981 and 1984.[citation needed]

Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa[edit]

Faleomavaega entered elective politics when he ran alongside A. P. Lutali in the 1985 gubernatorial race. He served as Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa from 1985–89. In 1987, he participated in an event that followed traditional Polynesian life experiences by sailing from Tahiti to Hawaii in a canoe.[5]

Congressional career[edit]

Faleomavaega and former president of the Marshall Islands Kessai Note.
Faleomavaega, a superdelegate, announces the distribution of American Samoa's delegate votes as part of the roll call of the states during the third day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Faleomavaega was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1988, serving from January 3, 1989 until January 2015.[5] As a delegate, he has worked to receive more federal funding for his home territory, particularly for health care and other essential services. He has opposed free trade deals involving meats and seafood, as nearly one-third of his territory's population is involved in the tuna industry. He proposed legislation that would allow residents of US territories to vote in presidential elections if they are active duty members of the military.[6]

Committee assignments[edit]

Faleomavaega was a member of the following committees in the House of Representatives:


Support for Sri Lanka's war against LTTE terrorists[edit]

Faleomavaega has said that it is more opportune if the United States could refrain from interfering in internal affairs of Sri Lanka. He took the initiative of briefing members of the Sub Committee on Asia and the Pacific of the US House of Representatives in this respect.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/D0ogJ7MfBrc?feature=player_embedded [7]

Support for American Samoa's independence[edit]

In 2012, both Faleomavaega and Togiola Tulafono, American Samoa's Governor, called for the populace to consider a move towards autonomy if not independence, to a mixed response.[8][9]

Support for Bahrain's monarchy[edit]

Faleomavaega is known for his vocal support of Bahrain's monarchy during the Bahraini uprising. One of Faleomavaega's top campaign donors, William Nixon, is a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist whose firm, Policy Impact Communications, founded the pro-monarchy Bahrain American Council.[10] He has taken various paid trips to Bahrain to meet with that country's rulers.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Samoa Congressional Map He is the father-in-law of Cincinnati Bengals' football player Fui Vakapuna
  2. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/top/1108/17/Rep-Eni-Faleomavaega-17-Mormons-in-Congress-in-2013.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b Fili Sagapolutele (November 9, 2014). "1st Woman Elected as American Samoa Delegate". Associated Press. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Cama, Timothy (November 5, 2014) - "American Samoa Delegate Loses Seat". The Hill. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Biography of Eni Faleomavaega". U.S. Congress. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  6. ^ "Eni Faleomavaega, United States Congress". House.gov. 1943-08-15. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/embed/D0ogJ7MfBrc?feature=player_embedded
  8. ^ American Samoa must consider independence - congressman. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  9. ^ Call for independence discussion for American Samoa. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  10. ^ Elliot, Justin (April 2, 2012). "Meet Bahrain's Best Friend in Congress". ProPublica. 
  11. ^ Elliot, Justin (April 11, 2012). "Law Shrouds Details of Congressional Trips Abroad". ProPublica. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Fofó Sunia
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from American Samoa's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Amata Coleman Radewagen