In Memoriam: The Honorable Yosiwo P. George

PALIKIR, August 14th 2022 (FSMIS)—On August 14th, 2022 the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) announced, with great sadness, that the Honorable Yosiwo Palikkun George, Vice President of the FSM, passed away.

Born in Kosrae on July 24th, 1941, Yosiwo Palikkun George began his education at Malem Elementary School. In 1957 he moved to Pohnpei to attend Pohnpei Intermediate School and then Pacific Island Central School, where he graduated in 1963. Yosiwo Palikkun George attended the College of Guam and then transferred to the University of Hawaii under a scholarship from the East-West Center. While at the East-West Center, Yosiwo Palikkun George participated in a student-exchange program at the University of New Mexico. Yosiwo Palikkun George graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1969.

Yosiwo Palikkun George’s career in public service began with the Pohnpei Transportation Authority, where he served as an Engineer; he then later served as a classroom teacher at Kolonia Elementary School, and then as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands’ Social Security manager in Saipan.

Yosiwo Palikkun George served as the first Lieutenant Governor of Kosrae from 1979 to 1980, when he was appointed by President Tosiwo Nakayama to become the Director of the Department of Social Services, with foci on education, health, and community services. These foci would remain of continuous professional and personal interest to him throughout his life.

After several years of dedicated service as the FSM’s Director of Social Services, Yosiwo Palikkun George felt duty-bound to serve the People of Kosrae, and so ran for the seat of Governor of Kosrae. He faithfully served Kosrae as its Governor for two terms, from January 3rd, 1983, to January 14th, 1991. He was then appointed by President Bailey Olter to serve as the Ambassador of the FSM to the United Nations, where he served with distinction for three years.

International service on behalf of the FSM inspired Yosiwo Palikkun George to run for a seat in the 10th FSM Congress, where he served as a Senator for four years. He was later appointed by Governor Rensley Sigrah to serve as the Chief Justice for Kosrae State’s Supreme Court, where he served until 2006.

Yosiwo Palikkun George was then called upon by President Emanuel “Manny” Mori to serve as the Administrator for the MiCare health insurance program. After several years of service in this capacity, President Mori appointed George to become the Ambassador of the FSM to the United States of America, with additional accreditation to the State of Israel.

Yosiwo Palikkun George ran for the State of Kosrae’s At-Large seat in the 19th Congress of the FSM, where he was then elected, and sworn into office on May 11th, 2015, as the eighth Vice President of the FSM, in partnership with President Peter M. Christian. Upon completion of his first term as Vice President of the FSM, George ran for the State of Kosrae’s At-Large seat again in 2019, where the 21st Congress elected him again as Vice President, where he served with President David W. Panuelo until his passing.

The FSM National Government recognizes that Vice President Yosiwo Palikkun George dedicated his life to the service of this Nation with unquestionable leadership and integrity. Vice President George was committed to a free and sovereign Micronesia, and dedicated the whole of his life to building the Nation’s prosperity.

Vice President George exemplified, in his personal and professional life, the FSM’s foreign policy of being a friend to all and an enemy to none, and extending to all peoples and nations peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.

A proclamation by President David W. Panuelo, proclaiming a national mourning period in honor of the late Vice President Yosiwo Palikkun George, is forthcoming. The social media version of this release will be updated when the proclamation is completed and signed.

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