Utu Abe Malae is an American Samoan politician, banker and businessman.[1] Malae was a candidate for Governor of American Samoa in the 2008 gubernatorial elections,[2] finishing second in the runoff to incumbent Governor Togiola Tulafono.

On August 15, 2011, Malae announced his candidacy in the forthcoming 2012 American Samoa gubernatorial election, which will be held in November 2012.[3] However, Malae withdrew from the gubernatorial race on October 10, 2011, citing a need to continue his work as the executive director of the Northern Marianas Commonwealth Utility Corporation (CUC) in the Northern Mariana Islands.[4][5]


Personal life

Utu Abe Malae's family and ancestry is originally from the Manu'a Islands,(his father's side)[2] which are located approximately 70 miles east of American Samoa main island, Tutuila. His mother's family is from the village of Amouli, American Samoa. He is the fifth of seven children born to the late Reverend Elder Pita Malae and the late Fiapa'ipa'i Sera Utu Malae.

Malae received his bachelor's degrees in both chemistry and English in 1970 from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.[2] He went on to earn his first master's degree in physical chemistry from Iowa State University's School of Science & Technology in 1973.[2] His education continued past his graduation from Iowa.

He next obtained two separate master's degrees in both public works administration and civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.[2]

Malae was bestowed the Samoan chiefly title of Utu by his family in the early 2000s.[6]


Malae has worked within the government of American Samoa for over twenty-five years.[2] He served as the executive director of the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA), a government electric utility.[2] He was appointed to oversee both the LBJ Medical Center and the Port Administration by separate American Samoan governors while he headed the ASPA.[2]

Utu served as the CEO for the LBJ Medical Center from November 1995 to January 1997.

In April 2001, Malae was named one of the "Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year" by the American Public Works Association.[7]

Malae, the American Samoa Power Authority and several other employees of the ASPA were also honored at the Mayors' Asia-Pacific Environment Summit 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[7] The summit was sponsored by the Asian Development Bank.[7] Before the Summit, Malae presented then Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris with detailed accomplishments of ways in which the ASPA, under his directorship, had worked to combat environmental problems in American Samoa and elsewhere in the Pacific.[7] Malae had initially promised to combat environmental pollution at the first Asia-Pacific Environment Summit in 1999.[7] For his work, Malae received one of the summit's awards and was asked to appear as one of its featured guest speakers. The award "honors Abe Malae and recognize the tangible progress of the municipality and people of the American Samoa Power Authority in fulfilling their sustainable development commitment declared."[7] Malae and his management of the ASPA was particularly praised for its operations of a utility service located in Ebeye, Marshall Islands.[7]

Malae became vice chairman of the Pacific Power Association in 2001 and later became the acting chairman of the PPA in 2002 following the resignation of the organization's representative from the Northern Marianas Islands.[2] Malae was chosen for a full two-year term as chairman of the Pacific Power Association at the PPA's annual meeting in Nadi, Fiji, in 2002.[2] Malae was working as the executive director of the American Samoa Power Authority at the time.[2]

Malae left the ASPA to become acting president of the Development Bank of American Samoa, a government-owned bank, beginning in November 2004.[8] He was retained again as President of the bank in September 2006.[8] Malae received praise for his management of the bank, which included a "clean" audit of its finances in 2007.[9] He remained as head of the bank until his resignation to run for governor in 2008.[9]

Malae, a Republican, was one of two American Samoans of the committee which drafted the election platform for the 2008 Republican National Convention.[10] Malae served as one of American Samoa's elected delegates who supported 2008 presidential nominee Senator John McCain, and represented the territory at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota.[11]

2008 Gubernatorial Candidacy

Utu Abe Malae announced the formation of an exploratory committee April 2008 to study the feasibility of a candidacy for Governor of American Samoa.[12] The committee was made up of Malae's family, friends and supporters.[12]

Malae fueled further speculation that he was planning a run for governor when tendered his resignation as president of the Development Bank of American Samoa.[9] He submitted a letter of resignation to the bank's board of directors on May 29, 2008.[9] He left the bank thirty days later.[9]

Malae officially announced his candidacy on June 10, 2008, for Governor of American Samoa in the 2008 gubernatorial election.[2][13] He chose Nua Mailo Saoluaga, a former Speaker of the American Samoa House of Representatives who is from Manu'a, as his running mate for lieutenant governor.[2][13] Malae filed his petition to run for governor at the American Samoa Election Office at 9:00 A.M. on June 10.[2] He held his official gubernatorial announcement at the Maliu Mai Beach Resort later in the day.[2]

In his announcement, Malae promised to make healthcare and education a top priority in a future Malae administration.[13] He referred to these as the top two issues facing American Samoa today.[13]

Malae faced incumbent Gov. Togiola Tulafono and two other candidates in the gubernatorial election on November 4, 2008. Tulafono received 41.3% of the vote to Malae's 31.4%. Because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, a run-off election between Malae and Tulafono took place on November 18, 2008. Governor Tulafono defeated Malae to win a second, four-year term.

Chairmanship of the Republican Party of American Samoa

In March 2016, Malae was reelected chairman of the Republican Party of American Samoa.[14]


  1. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2004-06-13). "Senate President Lolo Moliga Withdraws From Gubernatorial Race". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-06-10). "Utu Abe Malae Officially Declares Run For Governor". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  3. ^ Deposa, Moneth (2011-08-24). "CUC to lose its executive director, Malae announces election bid for A. Samoa governor". Saipan Tribune. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  4. ^ "American Samoa governor candidate withdraws from race". Radio New Zealand International. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  5. ^ "Utu Abe Malae Withdraws from Governor's Race". Talanei. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  6. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2002-08-01). "American Samoa's Malae new head of Pacific Power Association". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Sagapolutele, Fili (2001-05-16). "Asia-Pacific environment honour for American Samoans". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  8. ^ a b "People briefs". Pacific Magazine. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-06-01). "Development Bank President Resigns Ahead Of Possible Gubernatorial Race". Pacific Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  10. ^ "2008 Republican Platform Committee members". Republican National Committee. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  11. ^ Sagapolutele, Fili (2008-02-25). "McCain sweeps local GOP convention". Samoa News. Retrieved 2008-10-23. [dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Utu Abe Malae agrees to explore bid for Governor". Samoa Observer. 2008-04-11. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Former banker announces candidacy for American Samoa Governorship". Radio New Zealand International. 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  14. ^ "Local Republican Party names new officers and endorses Amata". Samoa News. 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Afoa Moega Lutu
Republican nominee for Governor of American Samoa
Succeeded by
Afoa Moega Lutu