|Name||Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen|
Pago Pago, American Samoa , United States
|| December 29, 1947
|Contributor||U Ole Polecat|
Dec 29, 2016 10:09pm
Married - Catholic -
|Info||After spending her earliest years in Washington, D.C. with her parents while her father attended Georgetown University Law School, Amata's family returned to American Samoa, where she was raised and completed her primary education. Following high school at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Guam, with additional studies at Loyola-Marymount and George Mason Universities. During and after college, she worked for the Interior and Navy departments as well as the Peace Corps on Saipan before going to Washington, D.C. to serve as executive assistant to American Samoa's first elected delegate-at-large, Paramount Chief A.U. Fuimaono. |
A community activist and political leader in American Samoa, Amata was named National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) coordinator for the territory in 1993 and from 1994 to 1997 was Pacific Regional Coordinator as well. A survivor of breast cancer herself, Amata also has served as spokesperson for the Samoan Women's Health Fund, a project organized to establish a breast cancer awareness and screening program in the territory and helped to bring mammography to Pago Pago for the first time; she also serves on the LBJ Tropical Medical Center Women's Auxiliary in American Samoa.
In addition to her health and church work in American Samoa, Amata also has taken on a number of voluntary governmental assignments over the years. She was a member for American Samoa of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council's Pelagics Advisory Panel and was a member of American Samoa delegations to the Third Pacific Island Conference of Leaders (1990) and to two South Pacific Conferences (1981, 1983); she also was on the Host Committee for the 1982 South Pacific Conference in Pago Pago. In addition, she was involved with the U.S. delegation to the Second Pacific Island Conference of Leaders in Rarotonga (1985) and helped organize the 1986 Pacific Futures Conference in Honolulu. She also was co-chairman for American Samoa of President Bush's Personnel Advisory Committee (1988-89). A member of the organizing committee for the dedication of Nauru's Pacific House in Washington, D.C. (1988), she was an adviser to the Republic of Nauru delegation to the 1989 Intelsat Global Traffic Meeting.
She served as senior government affairs advisor for the American Samoa Power Authority in 1995-96 and also has been an advisor to the American Samoa Legislature's Senate Committee on Government Operations. A registered voter in Pago Pago Village where she holds the Talking Chief title of "Aumua," Amata has spent part of virtually every year in American Samoa since her service on the delegate-at-large's staff three decades ago and continues to divide her time between Pago Pago and Washington.
As American Samoa's most prominent female political leader, Amata has given the territory substantial visibility nationally and internationally over the years. A delegate to several foreign policy conferences conducted by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), she was a member of the 1986 ACYPL study tour of Australia and was elected a Republican member of the ACYPL Alumni Council in 1987. A member of the advance team for the historic 1990 Honolulu summit between President George H.W. Bush and Pacific Island leaders, she also was adviser to the Pacific Basin Development Council president, who was a member of the president's summit delegation; she also was Washington advance liaison for the vice president's 1989 visit to Pago Pago. She has been a member of Women's Foreign Policy Group in Washington and the Independent Women's Forum. She also served at the Office of Economic Opportunity and later as confidential assistant to the undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services).
In 1992, Amata was selected for the International Republican Institute delegation to Kazakhstan, where she helped train political leaders from the central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union on grass roots politics; she undertook similar projects in Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan in 1993. In 1994 she again returned to central Asia a third time for IRI and made her fourth journey as consultant to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) during Kazakhstan's first post-Soviet parliamentary elections. Her travels have taken her to 28 countries and dependencies and 42 of the 50 United States. She also served for several years as deputy secretary-general of the Alliance of Dependent Territories.
Amata is the Republican National Committeewoman for American Samoa, having been elected to that position by the Republican Party of American Samoa in 1988 for a four-year term and re-elected in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004; she also was non-voting National Committeewoman from 1986 to 1988 and a member of the delegation to the 1988 convention that granted the territory full membership and voting rights. An at-large member of the Chairman's Executive Council from 1993-95, she currently ranks 10th in seniority on the 165-member National Committee and is the senior national committeewoman in the RNC's western region. She served as a member of the National Steering Committee of Asians and Pacific Islanders for President Bush in 1992.
An elected delegate to the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Republican National Conventions and an automatic delegate to the 2004 convention by virtue of her RNC membership, she has been on the committees on Arrangements and Rules at each convention and, as assistant sergeant-at-arms, was also an officer of the 1992 convention. She also has been a member of the RNC Committee on Rules since 1997. The co-chairman of the Bush for President campaign in American Samoa in 2000, she went on to serve as assistant secretary of the convention that year and is on the Bush-Cheney '04 Committee for American Samoa.
A graduate of the Republican National Committee Campaign Management Workshop, Campaign Management College and congressional candidate's school in Washington, at home Amata was an adviser to congressional campaigns in 1986 and 1990 and was active in the territory's first five gubernatorial campaigns; she also has been the Republican nominee for Congress in recent elections. A member of the Governors' Reception Committee at the 1973 Presidential Inaugural, she was also RNC staff liaison to governors at the 1980 Republican National Convention and on the gala site staff for the 1981 inaugural. She has been a member of the American Association of Political Consultants and the National Women's Political Caucus.
Serving out of Washington and in the Pacific as chief diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Pacific Report--a current affairs newsletter that concentrated on the Pacific-from 1984 to1997, Amata was a member of the founding board of the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press, belonged to the Pacific Islands News Association and the International Women's Media Foundation and was a member of the Fiji Press Club as well as being an occasional contributor to the op-ed pages of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and The Advertiser. A life member of the Capitol Hill Club, her other current affiliations include the Guam Society of America, the American Samoa Society of Washington, D.C and the Hawaii State Society.
Her biography appears in Who's Who in Politics, Who's Who in the South and Southwest and on the U.S. list of the South Pacific Commission's Register of Skilled Women in the Pacific. One of 13 children of the late Governor of American Samoa and Mrs. Peter Tali Coleman, she is married with three children.