It is with the greatest sadness that we acknowledge the passing of one of the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport’s greatest stalwarts and supporters, Dr Irene Ta’afaki.
Dr Irene first became involved with MCST as the RMI Campus Director who offered and provided us both the physical and administrative office space for our burgeoning Center back in 2015 at the request of the Marshall Islands Government, and more recently transitioning MCST to the College of the Marshall Islands.
Dr Irene always provided us with her advice and wisdom as well as her enthusiasm for capacity development, education and research in the Pacific and in the Marshall Islands especially. Her humility and wry humour, and no-nonsense approach, combined with her extensive network of professional colleagues and friends, will be immensely missed. Always there to offer her support when we needed it, Dr Irene steered our canoe with a serene calm that made everyone feel at home and part of a team.
A passionate advocate for weaving together traditional and modern, Dr Irene saw the connections between Pacific seafaring heritage and low carbon transport futures for our remote islands. She had the shared vision of a Pacific Center of Excellence supporting the Pacific Islands with a breadth of research and training from small scale sailing canoes to high tech flying ships and harnessing the power of the ocean for sustainable futures.
MCST has lost one of our biggest champions. We will remember Irene with the greatest fondness and gratefulness for having known her and had the pleasure of working with her.
We pass on our deepest condolences to Falai and Irene’s children and grandchildren. Dr Irene will be remembered fondly by so many people around the world who she has supported over her lifelong service to education and will be sorely missed.
Kommool Tata im Jeramman ilo ial in am Dr. Irene Ta’afaki, kem jamin meloklok eok!