Papali'i Dr. Failautusi Avegalio receives Community Resilience Leadership Award

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Karl Kim, (808) 956-6865
Executive Director, NDPTC, Social Sciences, Urban and Regional Planning
Posted: Mar 9, 2017

Papali‘i Dr. Failautusi "Tusi" Avegalio, Jr.
Papali‘i Dr. Failautusi "Tusi" Avegalio, Jr.

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) 2017 Community Resilience Leadership Award will be presented to Papali‘i Dr. Failautusi "Tusi" Avegalio Jr. at the Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana (PRiMO) Conference Awards Luncheon at noon on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. The annual award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to making communities better able to withstand, respond to and recover from hazards and threats such as hurricanes, tsunamis and flooding.  

According to NDPTC Executive Director Karl Kim, "Doc Tusi combines a deep understanding of community processes and a lasting commitment to social justice and capability building. As a community leader, he has promoted learning about resilience and food security throughout Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands. He has played a special role in advising and leading the NDPTC in our efforts to build and sustain resilient communities.”

Avegalio is the director of the Pacific Business Center Program (PBCP) and the executive director of the Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Center (HMBEC) at the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business. A former research fellow with the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center, Avegalio is the first native from Oceania to become a professor at the Shidler College of Business. Deeply involved in developing and delivering NDPTC courses in American Samoa and throughout the Pacific, he has consulted extensively for governments, colleges and universities, financial institutions and businesses throughout the Pacific. He also has been the primary organizer of many events, such as the University of Hawai‘i Stars of Oceania, and the Global Breadfruit Summits in Hawai‘i, including the 2017 summit planned for Apia, Samoa.

Avegalio received his BS in education and BA in social sciences from Emporia State University in Kansas, his MA from Truman State University in Missouri, and his doctorate in educational administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. A Polynesian ali'i, he holds the traditional title of “Papali‘i” from Savali, Samoa.

The NDPTC is part of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which was established by Congress in 1998. Funded with a cooperative agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the NDPTC is focused on natural hazards, coastal communities, and the special needs and opportunities associated with islands and territories. It works to reduce disaster risks through urban planning, environmental management, and through addressing the needs of underserved at-risk populations. To date, the program has delivered FEMA-certified training courses to more than 35,000 first responders and emergency managers, across the United States and its flag and trust territories.  

The NDPTC is part of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) in the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences brings together a diverse faculty and student body from across the world for innovative research and a unique learning environment in the Asia Pacific Region that fosters practical solutions for critical global and local issues through planning, public policy and social collaboration. Responding to the global need for cooperative responses to environmental crises, resource scarcities, and socio-political conflicts, DURP takes a visionary “whole society” approach to planning and works with various partners to deepen social and human understanding with the aim of increasing resilience, sustainability and quality of life for all.

Marked by leadership, excellence and innovation, the College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa provides students with a culturally diverse experience that transforms them into bold, engaged global citizens who affect change, break down barriers, touch lives and succeed in a multi-cultural context. Its student-centered environment id dedicated to providing students with a vibrant academic climate that affords exciting, intense interaction among students and faculty as they address fundamental questions about human behavior. Featuring outstanding scholarship through internships, active and service learning approaches to teaching, and an international focus particularly in the Asia Pacific region, it prepares students to become leaders in public and private enterprises throughout Hawai‘i and Asia.

Established in 2003, PRiMO is comprised of more than 100 organizations that jointly participate in the effort to aid the Pacific Islands in developing and implementing action plans that improve resilience in the Pacific region.. Membership within the organization includes individuals from emergency response organizations, nonprofits, government agencies, universities, local planning institutions, and the medical and private sectors.