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Samoa's Consular General to Am Samoa earns degree in Diplomatic Studies from Oxford University

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Against all odds, Samoa's Consular General to American Samoa, Fata Brian Kaio managed to get to England to attend Oxford University at the height of the pandemic in 2021.

Fata was named one of the top five graduates at the University of Oxford in England in March.

Appointed in 2021 by the Samoa Government to oversee the Samoa Consul Office on island, Fata dedicated this achievement to his late mother who passed on a few weeks prior to his graduation.

The graduation ceremony was delayed due to COVID.

His father Muaava Pasene Kaio flew to England to witness one of his 13 children receive their Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies.

Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Professor of Anesthetic Neuroscience in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Professor Irene Tracey, spoke at the graduation last week and made a special mention of Fata during her keynote address.

She told those who attended the graduation ceremony that the university's Department of Continuing Education sees more than 15,000 students from 160 countries enroll annually in part-time courses.

This according to Professor Tracey makes Oxford University one of the largest providers of continuing education in the United Kingdom before pointing out how Fata had to travel from afar to graduate with a graduate diploma in diplomatic studies.

"Indeed, tonight, we have someone who has traveled just short of 10,000 miles to graduate tonight," the Vice Chancellor said.

"Brian Kaio, Consul General of Samoa to America Samoa, who is traveling from American Samoa, with his wife, to attend this awards ceremony, has recently completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies.

"I think this illustrates wonderfully the widespread impact and reach this department has on the world and I could not be more proud.

“The department's mission is to inspire people locally, nationally, and globally by extending access to Oxford's world-class teaching and resources.

Fata told Samoa News that while his education journey was faced with a number of obstacles, he had a goal to fulfill and that was the motivation behind his drive.

“As a Samoan we always credit our faith and God for enabling me to attend and it was an absolute experience. And I encourage all our younger generations to never give up on your education and pursue the best opportunity there is in American Samoa.

“I would encourage our youth to utilize those opportunities and when you get the chance to travel to the United States, make use of those opportunities as America has some of the best universities around the world.

“For a kid coming to Samoa, it was special, to see my dad and many of our Samoan people in the crowd cheering on as I walked down to receive my degree and having my wife Stephenie and dad part of that crowd, was a momentous for me.

“My wife held down the fort when I was away at school, taking care of our children, tending to our family obligations, it’s commendable. She is a superstar,” he said.

Fata was the recipient of the British Chevening Scholarship in 2021.

He has extensive senior leadership and management experience over the years in the Samoa government. Prior to taking up his post in American Samoa, Fata served as the Deputy High Commissioner at the Samoa High Commission in Canberra, Australia.