The White House has nominated Carmen G. Cantor to be assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs at the Department of the Interior. The nomination will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.
“The territories are an integral part of the fabric of America, and the freely associated states are uniquely interwoven with the United States in terms of a shared history, ongoing partnership, and a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “Carmen’s extensive experience as a diplomat will help ensure that insular areas have the resources and support they need to mitigate climate-related challenges, address critical infrastructure projects and promote economic development.”
Cantor is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and currently serves as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Federated States of Micronesia. Previously, she served in various roles within the Department of State, including as the executive director of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Bureau of International Information Programs, executive director of the Bureau of Counterterrorism, director of the Office of Civil Service Human Resource Management, and as deputy director for recruitment, examination and employment.
Cantor also served as director of the Office of Civil Rights for the Foreign Agricultural Service, and as director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity at the Federal Maritime Commission. She earned a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.A. from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.
The assistant secretary for Insular and International Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) carry out the secretary’s responsibilities for U.S.-affiliated insular areas, which includes the territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Residents of these U.S. territories are U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals. Additionally, the Office of Insular Affairs administers and oversees federal assistance to three freely associated states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.