Rhea Moss-Christian is the Chair of the Marshall Islands National Nuclear Commission (NNC), a government entity established in 2017 to address outstanding impacts of the US nuclear weapons testing program in the Marshall Islands. She was appointed by the RMI President and Cabinet shortly after the NNC was established and serves alongside two other Commissioners. Prior to serving in this role, Rhea served as the Chair of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission from 2015-2018, the first woman to serve in this position. Her regional fisheries experience spans over 20 years and includes work with the US National Marine Fisheries Service, the FSM National Fisheries Authority, and the RMI Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Resources and Development.
In Rhea’s current role with the RMI NNC, she oversaw the development of a national strategy to address nuclear justice for the Marshallese people, which was adopted by the RMI Government in 2019. The strategy covers health and environmental objectives for the nuclear-affected communities in the RMI, as well as highlights the importance of education and research to support nuclear justice efforts. In response to directives from the Forum Leaders in their Forum Communique, Rhea also coordinates collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Community, and the Pacific Regional Environment Program to support the Marshall Islands’ efforts for nuclear justice. In 2019, Rhea was appointed as Vice-Chair of the RMI’s Technical Committee for Compact Re-Negotiations.
Rhea’s public service career began in the RMI Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 when she held the portfolio of Undersecretary of Asia-Pacific Affairs. She has also held other positions with the RMI Government (Assistant Secretary for Resources and Development; Oceans Adviser) over the years until her current appointment with the NNC. In addition, Rhea continues to work in the region’s tuna fisheries sector and provides strategic advisory services to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and The Nature Conservancy’s Indo-Pacific Tuna Program. Rhea also holds a seat on the Board of Trustees for the Micronesia Conservation Trust.
Rhea was born in the Marshall Islands and is a dual national of the Marshall Islands and the United States. She holds a Master of Arts in International Policy Studies, 2005 (Stanford University), a Post-Graduate Certificate in Diplomatic Studies, 2000 (Oxford University) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics, 1996 (University of California, Santa Cruz).
Rhea resides in Pohnpei with her husband, Christopher Christian, and her 5-year old daughter, Isla.