Christopher Jorebon Loeak
President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
Christopher Jorebon Loeak is the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 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 was first elected to the Nitijela in 1985, represented the Ailinglaplap Atoll. He served as Minister of Justice from 1988 to 1992, and then held the post of Minister of Social Services from 1992 to 1996, and later became Minister of Education. He held the education portfolio for two years, and subsequently became Minister for the Ralik Chain of islands in 1998, and the additional portfolio of Minister-in-Assistance to the President (Vice-President equivalent) in 1999.
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. He was re-elected to the Nitijela in 2007, and has held the seat of Ailinglaplap since then. Loeak was elected President by the Nitijela in January 2012.