Migration to the United States under the Compacts of Free Association



When: Jul 7 2020 - 5:00pm until Jul 7 2020 - 6:00pm
Where: Zoom Webinar

The East-West Center in Washington invites you to a Virtual Seminar:

Migration to the United States under the
Compacts of Free Association


Dr. David Gootnick
Director, International Affairs and Trade,
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Dr. Emil Friberg (Discussant)
Assistant Director and Senior Economist,
International Affairs and Trade, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Ms. Caitlin Mitchell (Discussant)
Senior Analyst,
International Affairs and Trade, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Dr. Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center &
Director, East West Center in Washington

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released “Compacts of Free Association: Populations in U.S. Areas Have Grown, with Varying Reported Effects” on June 15, 2020.

For 3 decades, citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau have been able to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely without a visa through special agreements called compacts. The number of people who migrate to the U.S. under the auspices of these compacts has grown by about 70% in the last decade, particularly on the mainland.

U.S. areas reported rising costs of public education and health care programs and services for these migrants. Though these populations generally aren’t eligible for federal programs such as Medicaid, some states have found ways to use federal funding to help cover their health insurance premiums.

This seminar will take place entirely on Zoom via its Webinar platform.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020
5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. EDT

Click here to find your local start time

This seminar will be on-the-record, recorded on Zoom, and livestreamed on YouTube to be uploaded for later viewing.

To RSVP, please click here: https://eastwestcenter.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aeDJPDaCR-qD2X8_or1T-A
Kindly send your reply by 3:00 P.M. EDT on July 7, 2020.


Upon registering for this webinar, our team will first approve your registration and you will then receive a confirmation email. If you do not, please check your Spam folder. If you still do not see the email within 24 hours or have other questions please email Mrs. Sarah Wang at wangs@eastwestcenter.org. The confirmation email will provide you with a unique link to join the seminar. Do not share this with anyone else.

As an Attendee in a Zoom Webinar, your microphone will be muted and video turned off from the start of the presentation to cut down on noise interference and to maintain security.

The Q&A session will occur at the end of the webinar presentation. You are more than welcome to type your questions into the Q&A box throughout the presentation or flag a specific point for the panelists in the Chat feature. We will address questions in the order that they are asked.

NOTE: If you are planning to watch the seminar via the YouTube livestream or call in on a phone without smart capabilities, you will not be able to participate in the Q&A session. Should you watch on YouTube, YouTube comments will be disabled. If you have a question, please email Mrs. Sarah Wang at wangs@eastwestcenter.org.

Speaker Biographies

David Gootnick has served as a Director, International Affairs and Trade at the U.S. Government Accountability Office since September 2001.  His portfolio includes issues affecting the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands, American Samoa, and the Freely Associated States (FAS).  From 1994-2001 he served as Director of the Office of Medical Services at the Peace Corps and as Director of the University Health Services at New York University from 1991-1994.  Dr. Gootnick holds an M.D. from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. 

Emil Friberg is an Assistant Director and Senior Economist, International Affairs and Trade team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. His responsibilities include reviews of the implementation of Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau, including the role of U.S. economic assistance, the viability of trust funds to support FAS government operations, and compact migration. Dr. Friberg holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas. He is an Adjunct Professor in the CANZPS program at Georgetown University.

Ms. Caitlin Mitchell is a Senior Analyst, International Affairs and Trade team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and leads performance audits of federal programs in the areas of national security and foreign policy. Her work focuses on the intersection of international affairs and domestic policy, on topics such as compact migration, Confucius Institutes on U.S. campuses, financial contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, and U.S. efforts to counter ISIS messaging. Prior to GAO, she worked at the Department of Defense, and studied at the University of Pittsburgh (MPIA) and Dickinson College (BA, Russian).

Satu Limaye is Vice President of the East-West Center and the Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and is the founding editor of the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is a graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Recent publications include: “America’s ‘Pacific Principle’ in an Indivisible Pacific Islands Region,” (Asia-Pacific Bulletin); “Despite Stumbles, America’s Engagement with Southeast Runs Deep,” (Global Asia); Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra Water Politics (Marine Corps University Press); and Russia’s Peripheral Relevance to US-Indo Pacific Relations (Center for the National Interest).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang