“It needs dedication, commitment, perseverance,” says Tonga new Chief Secretary Edgar Cocker

Tonga’s newly appointed Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet Edgar Cocker said he was prepared to dedicate his life and commit to the job.

He said his role was to give the Prime Minister correct advice and help with government’s roles in growing the country’s economy.

The Public Service Commission has announced the appointment today.  

The announcement comes after Kaniva news and other media have reported last week Cocker has been picked by PSC for the role.

In his role as CEO of the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour, before he was appointed to the new job, Cocker was instrumental in pushing for Tonga to support the PACER Plus trade agreement.

He also traveled to other Pacific islands incuding Samoa to discuss opportunities for Tonga’s exports.

“This is a national task of providing the correct advice to the PM on how to grow the economy, which also include the professionalism of devising and implementing of Government priorities,”Cocker said.

“It needs dedication, commitment, perseverance, speed, analytical skills and strategic thinking.”

Cocker holds a Master of Business Administration (1991) and a Master of Science in Community Economic Development (1990) from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University), New Hampshire, United States of America.

Cocker was previously appointed to the public service in 2007 as the Director of Tourism.

He also held various positions in the private sector including Shipping Corporation of Polynesia Ltd, Tonga Water Board, Friendly Islands Marketing Corporation from 1982 to 1992.

From May 1992 until December, 2000 Cocker was the Marketing, Trade, Investment and Product Development advisor for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Fiji.

He was the director for the Cooperative Research, Education and Extension Services under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), at the US Territory of Northern Mariana Islands from 2001 to November, 2005.

The post of the Chief Secretary became vacant in July 2018 after former chief secretary and secretary to cabinet, Dr. Palenitina Langa’oi Tiueti, tendered her resignation.

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