David W. Panuelo is a distinguished fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Panuelo was the ninth president of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), serving from May 2019 to 2023. Prior to this, he served in the FSM Congress from May 2011 to May 2019; as the director of the Department of Resources and Development for Pohnpei State; as the assistant secretary for American and European affairs; and as the deputy chief of mission to the FSM’s missions to the United Nations and to Fiji. Panuelo has also established various businesses ranging from construction to human services, including the nonprofit Care Micronesia Foundation.

Panuelo’s primary interests, in both research and advocacy, are in the forming and promotion of good governance and transparency; in strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the Indo-Pacific and globally; in aligning Pacific interests with that of the Micronesian subregion; in strengthening Micronesia-US relations and Pacific-US relations; and in strengthening the sovereignty and prosperity of Pacific Island countries. By extension, Panuelo is keen to tackle climate change—as the Pacific’s foremost existential threat—and malign influence from authoritarian and autocratic countries, the latter of which Panuelo believes pose threats to the contemporary rules-based international order.

Panuelo was proudly educated at Eastern Oregon University and prizes spending time with his family, including his mohnlimpoak (“love of my heart”) and his five seri (“children”) and seven grandchildren.