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Emhoff to become highest-profile US official to visit Samoa

Doug Emhoff
Associated Press-Patrick Semansky
Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during a roundtable discussion with Jewish leaders about the rise in antisemitism and efforts to fight hate in the United States in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Dec. 7, 2022. Emhoff on Friday. Dec. 16, visited a 988 call center that’s part of the recently launched national hotline intended to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will visit Samoa next week as part of his trip to New Zealand for the Women’s World Cup, making him the highest-profile Biden administration official to travel to the island.

Emhoff will visit Samoa from July 23-24, where he will meet with government officials and community leaders, his office announced Wednesday.

“In particular, the Second Gentleman will highlight our shared work to address the climate crisis, enhance disaster preparedness, promote sustainable and inclusive economic development, and invest in the economic empowerment of women,” Liza Acevedo, Emhoff’s communications director, said in a statement. “The Second Gentleman’s visit will underscore the strong U.S. relationship with Samoa and the commitment of the United States to the Pacific Islands.”

The visit to Samoa will follow Emhoff’s trip to New Zealand, where he is leading the U.S. delegation at the Women’s World Cup. That event kicks off Thursday in Auckland.

The second gentleman will also attend the U.S. team’s first match against Vietnam on Friday. While in New Zealand, he will meet with private-sector and community leaders to highlight the partnership between the two countries.

Emhoff’s trip to Samoa reflects how the Biden administration has sought to build stronger ties with the island and the region as a whole.

Earlier this year, the Peace Corps returned to Samoa for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. Coast Guard has helped Samoa patrol its economic zone.

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