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Christopher Jorebon Loeak[pronunciation?] (born 11 November 1952) is the current president of the Marshall Islands. He was elected by parliament following the Marshall Islands presidential election, 2012.
Loeak was born on the Ailinglaplap Atoll on 11 November 1952. He attended Marshall Island High School before traveling to the United States to study at the Hawaii Pacific College and Gonzaga University School of Law. Loeak is a native speaker of Marshallese and also speaks English. He is married to Anono Lieom Loeak and has three children and eight grandchildren.
Loeak was first elected to the Nitijela in 1985 when he represented the Ailinglaplap Atoll. He served in the cabinet of President Amata Kabua as Minister of Justice from 1988 to 1992. He became Minister of Social Services in 1992 and held that post until 1996 when Kunio Lemari became acting president on the death of Kabua and Loeak became Minister of Education. He held the education portfolio for two years, continuing his cabinet work under President Imata Kabua who was sworn in in 1997. Kabua made him Minister for the Ralik Chain of islands in 1998, holding that position for a year and also undertaking an additional portfolio as Minister-in-Assistance to the President in 1999.
During his time in the Nitijela Loeak took an active part in many of its committees including those for the Judiciary and Government Relations; Public Account, Health and Education and Social Services (which he chaired); Foreign Affairs and Trade; Appropriation; Resource and Development; International Protection, Peace, Security and Protection of the Environment. He was also a member of the Second and Third Constitutional Conventions, serving as vice-president of the latter, and chaired the Bill of Rights Committee. Loeak was part of the team that negotiated the extension of the United States lease of the Marshallese part of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site after an eight year deadlock on talks. The Marshall Islands government agreed to accept payment of $32 million in return for extending the lease on the site.
Loeak was re-elected to the Nitijela in 2007 and has held the seat of Ailinglaplap since then. He re-entered the cabinet in 2008 as Minister-in-Assistance to President Litokwa Tomeing.
Loeak became president of the Marshall Islands in January 2012 when the Nitijela elected him to that post. Loeak defeated incumbent president Jurelang Zedkaia by 21 votes to 11. Zedkaia has agreed to co-operate with the new administration and Loeak is expected to name his cabinet and be officially sworn in within a week.
- Statement by Christopher Loeak, President of the Marshall Islands to the Sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, 25 September 2012
- Marshall Islands' Parliament Elects New National Leadership
- Radio New Zealand
- "The Honorable Minister Christopher J. Loeak". Office of the president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. http://marshall.wetserver.net/livefiles/christopherjloeak_aboutdownloads_18.pdf. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "Marshall Islands and US ink deal for missile testing. http://digitaljournal.com/article/306617#ixzz1iQLpf1qx". Digital Journal. 12 May 2011. http://digitaljournal.com/article/306617. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "Loeak elected new Marshall Islands President". Radio New Zealand. 3 January 2012. http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=65333. Retrieved 3 January 2012.