President Hilda C. Heine, the eighth President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is the first Marshallese woman to be chosen as President from the 33 membership of Marshall Islands Nitijela (National Parliament). Dr. Hilda C. Heine is one of three women elected to the Nitijela following the November 2015 general elections representing Aur Atoll for a term of 4 years. Dr. Heine previously served as Minister of Education in the administration of former President Christopher J. Loeak.
Prior to entering politics, Dr. Heine was Program Director of Pacific Comprehensive Assistance Center at the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) in Majuro from 2006 to 2011 and Director of Policy and Capacity Building and Scholar for FAS Education, consecutively, for PREL and based in Honolulu from 1995 to 2006. Before relocating to the State of Hawai’i, Dr. Heine served the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands starting as a classroom teacher, school counselor, school administrator, college President before being named as Secretary of Education.
During her tenure as President of the College of the Marshall Islands and as Secretary of Education, Dr. Heine supervised the transformation of the College from a continuing education program into a fully operational community college. Dr. Heine currently serves as an advisor, officer and member of multiple taskforces, committees and working groups. As Minister of Education, Dr. Heine headed the RMI Teacher Standards and Licensing Board and Chaired the Human Resources in Health Task Force. Dr. Heine was awarded honorary doctorate degree from the College of the Marshall Islands.
Dr. Heine was born on Jaluit Atoll to Reverend Bourne and Kathy Heine on April 6, 1951, where she grew up and attended public school and moved to Majuro to pursue her secondary level education at Marshall Islands High School. Following high school studies, Dr. Heine attended school in the United States where she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon in 1970, a master’s degree at the University of Hawaii in 1975, and an Educational doctorate at the University of Southern California in 2004. Dr. Heine and her Husband, Thomas Kijiner, Jr., have 3 children and 1 grandchild, and both live in Majuro. Dr. Heine co-authored a number of publications and reports, and read historical and contemporary writings with special emphasis on education and social administrations in small islands developing states, and likes to listen to music and cooking.