After five years of service, Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagoloa-Leota retired from the position of Anglican Observer at the United Nations on June 30, 2006. Taking office only a few days prior to September 11, 2001, Archdeacon Tai served during a time of crisis as well as change. She championed issues such as women’s rights, sustainable development, disarmament, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Through her work, she represented the diverse and growing interests of the Anglican Communion throughout the world.
Archdeacon Tai came to the Anglican Observer after serving as the Archdeacon to the Samoa Archdeaconry in the Anglican Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia for eight years. Her twenty-five years of experience in the United Nations Development Program merged with her dedication to the Anglican Communion when she became the Anglican Observer at the United Nations. During her five years at the Office of the Anglican Observer, her country, Samoa, recognized her with the Order of Samoa, and the Archbishop of Canterbury recognized her with the St. Augustine’s Cross. In addition, she received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Ignatius University to tribute her lifetime achievement.
On June 27, a farewell reception in the Mezzanine Room of the Episcopal Church headquarters celebrated Archbishop Tai’s work. The Archbishop who serves Samoa, Bishop Jabez Bryce, as well as The Honorable Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Samoa’s ambassador to the United Nations, attended the reception to personally thank Archdeacon Tai for her work. The Anglican United Nations Office wishes Archdeacon Tai all of God’s blessings and thanks her for her five years of dedicated service, as she journeys back to Samoa and New Zealand.
The Anglican United Nations Office will continue under the leadership of the Reverend Canon Douglas M. Renegar serving as interim Observer.