Samoa’s first female Ombudsman, resigns

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Luamanuvao Katalaina Sapolu Samoa’s first female Ombudsman’s last day in the office is 30 June 2023. 

This was confirmed by the Acting Ombudsman Faualo Pepe Seiuli to Radio Polynesia noting the resignation was submitted to the Head of State in early May. 

Luamanuvao is a lawyer by profession who has a wealth of experience in the legal profession both locally and internationally, was first appointed under the previous administration in 2021. 

 She started her career in Samoa as a staff solicitor for the Sapolu and Co. Barristers and Solicitors from 1988 to 1992 and went on to become the Principal Solicitor from 1992 to 2002 for the same law firm.    

Luamanuvao has over 15 years of experience with the Commonwealth Secretariat.  She began as an Adviser and Head of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2002. 

 For almost two years, she was the Chief Legal Counsel for the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) in Brussels from 2012. 

She became Director of the Rule of Law Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat from 2013 – 2017, before she was appointed as the Senior Director for Governance and Peace Directorate from 2017 to 2019.  She has returned to Samoa and is currently the Barrister and Law Director for PL Strategy Consulting Limited.

Luamanuvao graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) with Merit specializing in Public International Law from Queen Mary, University of London in 2008. 

 She is an alumnus of the University of Auckland, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in 1986.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Newcastle, Australia.