Joseph J. Urusemal is the Sixth President of the Federated States of Micronesia. He was sworn into Office on May 11 2003, during the opening session of the Thirteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia.
President Urusemal had been a member of the FSM Congress for sixteen years, the last 12 serving as the Floor Leader. A position that earned him the reputation of being very soft-spoken but with a resonating determination that has been instrumental in shaping the nations policies based on his strong principles of traditional values and clear perception of the needs of the nation versus its limited natural resources.
President Urusemal was born on March 19, 1952, on Woleai one of the many outlying islands in the State of Yap. His childhood and early schooling was done on Woleai after which he went to Chuuk State (formerly Truk) to attend the prestigious Xavier High School.
In 1973, he graduated from Xavier and went on to the United States in pursued of higher education at the Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1976, President Urusemal received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration of Justice. His degree was immediately applied to practical use working for the Jackson County Department of Correction. He worked for the government of Jackson County for the next six years until his return to Micronesia in 1982.
President Urusemal return to Yap and worked with the State Department of Education serving as a teacher and counselor to the Outer Islands High School. During his tenure, the President had served on the Education Steering Committee where he was instrumental in the establishment of Yap State Education Five Year Plan.
In 1987, President Urusemal was elected as Yap State's at-large or four-year representative to the Fifth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia. He held concurrent membership on the Standing Committees of: Health Education and Social Affairs; Resources and Development; and External Affairs.
Since his election to parliament, President Urusemal had retained his seat in the subsequent FSM Congress until his selection to its Leadership.
In 1991, he was chosen Floor Leader of the Seventh FSM Congress. He held consecutive membership on the following Standing Committees; Health, Education, and Social Affairs; Resources and Development; Transportation and Communication; and Judiciary and Governmental Operations.
During the subsequent Congress, Seventh to Twelfth, President Urusemal maintained his role as Floor Leader of the FSM Congress along with his membership on the same four Standing Committees: Health, Education, and Social Affairs; Resources and Development; Transportation and Communication; and Judiciary and Governmental Operations.
President Urusemal was the Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiations and also served as the Chairman of JCN's Working Group. During his tenure in Congress, President Urusemal also served as the Secretary General for the FSM National Group to the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians' Union.
On May 11 2003, Joseph J. Urusemal was seated as the Sixth President of the Federated States of Micronesia.
He is married to Olania Latileilam of Satawal Island and they have four children: B.J., Tarsis, Craig and Elenita.