The Board of Directors for the Air Marshall Islands, Inc. (AMI), during a special meeting on November 24, appointed Jefferson Barton as the Airline’s New Chief Executive Officer and General Manager.
“The Board made the right choice given the fact that the airline urgently needs to tackle the great challenges it is currently facing ‘head-on’,” said Board Member Heran Bellu.
According to the AMI Board, the national airline is going through a critical and difficult period in its history. The fleet is made up of only two aircraft. The Dash 8 will be undergoing repairs in Australia until early 2013, leaving the small Dornier 228 aircraft to service the entire country.
Frequent breakdowns, due to unpaved outer island runways, salty conditions, and lack of serviceable parts on shelf, have placed the national airline in “dire straights.”
Barton’s appointment followed a “thorough and painstaking process of reviewing and scrutinizing the candidates based on their work histories, experiences, relevant qualifications, and vision for the airline,” said Heran.
“The Board came to the conclusion that Mr. Barton is the right choice and ask that the government, the private sector, every staff of the airline, and everyone else, put their full support behind the new CEO as this will not be a ‘one-man show’ but will rather be a collaborative effort needed for us all in order to turn our national airline around for the better.”
Barton has been a Member of the Board of Directors for AMI since February 2012, and has been the Board’s Secretary, preparing the Meeting Minutes, drafting Cabinet Papers, and writing decision notices (letters) on behalf of the Chairman and the Board Members.
From January 2011 until this latest appointment, Barton was the Director for the RMI’s Economic Policy, Planning, and Statistics Office (EPPSO), the Office of the President. He served as Secretary of Finance from April 2005 to December 2010; and was an Advisor to the Executive Director at the World Bank Group in Washington DC from December 2002 to December 2004. From March 1995 to November 2002, he worked as Director for the Office of Planning and Statistics (OPS) which assumed the name ‘EPPSO’ in 2003.
Barton was born here in Majuro Atoll in November 1966 to late Rev. Barton Butuna of Arno Atoll and to late Ms. Neirom Jarom of Jaluit Atoll, and is married to Ms. Tirisa Kaminaga and they have five young children.
He received a Master’s degree from Massey University in New Zealand in February 1995 and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in June 1992. He earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from the former Community College of Micronesia in Pohnpei in 1987, and graduated from Jaluit High School in 1985.
- Yokwe Online, December 2, 2012