Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2019 12am







    Monday, July 22, 2019-7:47:41P.M.






Font Size


Humanities Council will remain relevant, says new executive director

NEWLY appointed Executive Director Leo Pangelinan said the Northern Marianas Humanities Council, under his leadership, will remain committed to designing programs that are relevant and focused on developing lifelong learning in the humanities.

In a statement, Pangelinan said he is “thrilled to join the council as executive director.”  His term will start on Nov. 5.

Leo Pangelinan

Pangelinan, who has a strong interest in the islands’ history, culture and social issues, said the Humanities Council will continue to serve as a platform for various groups whose experiences and stories help shape an understanding of the community’s identity.

“We would like to have our programs appeal to a larger audience and this includes finding creative ways to extend programs to the residents of Tinian and Rota.”

One of the council’s future projects includes “creating new spaces that promote awareness and understanding of contemporary issues.”

Pangelinan said his predecessor, Scott Russell, developed a solid foundation.  “He worked hard to demonstrate the many ways that we can form connections between the humanities and our daily lives.  I appreciate all that he has done in concert with our board members to produce consistent, high quality programs and services for our community.”

Established in 1991, the Humanities Council supports 13 major annual programs and grassroots projects through its Community Grants Program. 

“As we work toward evaluating the impact of these programs, we remain committed to designing new programs through community input to ensure our efforts remain relevant,” Pangelinan said.

He added that his background as educator, local musician and ocean voyager helped shape his personal relationship with the humanities.

“I have a deep appreciation for our indigenous cultures, the diverse communities within the CNMI and the languages, art, and various forms of expression that make us all uniquely human.”

Pangelinan has a master’s degree in education from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington State University.  He has worked as a program leader, counselor, and administrator in higher education for nearly 15 years, and with various programs that promote social justice, diversity, multiculturalism, and student success. 

He is a local recording artist — a vocalist and a ukulele player — and has logged over 3,000 miles on open-ocean canoe voyages with traditional navigators from the School of Weriyaeng.