Honorable Tony de Brum

Honorable Tony de Brum

Minister in Assistance to the President
Republic of Marshall Islands

Senator Tony de Brum has had a distinguished career in government in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). He currently serves as Minister in Assistance to the President (Vice-President equivalent), with portfolio responsibilities that include climate change and energy issues. He has previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Health and Environment.

Born in 1945, Senator de Brum grew up on the island of Likiep during the 12-year period when the United States tested 67 atomic and thermonuclear weapons in the atmosphere and under water in the Marshall Islands (1946-1958).

Senator de Brum went on to become one of the first Marshall Islanders to graduate from college and focused on helping his people to extricate themselves from the legacy of U.S. nuclear testing in his island country. He played a key role in the negotiations that led to the first compact of free association between the U.S. and the RMI and his country\'s independence, and participated in the development of RMI\'s Constitution.

Senator de Brum has increasingly focused his attention on the challenges of global warming and its effects on atoll populations. In February 2013, he addressed the United Nations Security Council on the threat posed by climate change to RMI\'s long-term viability and survival.

In October 2012, Senator de Brum was awarded the 2012 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation\'s Distinguished Peace Leader Award. Previous winners have included His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Captain Jacques Cousteau, and King Hussein of Jordan