Surangel Whipps Jr.

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Surangel Whipps Jr.
Surangel Whipps Jr..jpg
Whipps in 2021
10th President of Palau
Assumed office
21 January 2021
Vice PresidentUduch Sengebau Senior
Preceded byThomas Remengesau Jr.
Member of the Senate of Palau
In office
Personal details
Born (1968-08-09) 9 August 1968 (age 54)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyIndependent
(m. 1999)
Children4 (3 daughters and 1 son)
ParentSurangel S. Whipps
RelativesThomas Remengesau Jr. (Brother-in-law)
EducationAndrews University(B.S)
University of California,Los Angeles(MBA)

Surangel S. Whipps Jr. (born 9 August 1968)[2] is a Palauan businessman and politician, who has served as the president of Palau since 2021.[3] He served as senator from 2008 to 2016.[3] He is from Ngatpang state, Republic of Palau.[1] Whipps assumed office as the President of Palau on 21 January 2021.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Whipps, wife Valerie and President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen in March 2021.

Whipps was born in Baltimore, Maryland,[6] to Surangel Whipps Sr. and a mother who was born in Maryland.[6]

He has a degree in Business Administration and Economics from Andrews University and an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles.[7] In addition, he heads a chain of Palauan supermarkets.[8]

He ran against his brother-in-law, President Thomas Remengesau Jr., who was running for re-election, in the 2016 Palauan general election[9] Remengesau received 5109 votes while Whipps won 4854 votes.[10]

Whipps and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the White House in May 2022.

Spouse and children[edit]

Whipps married Valerie Esang Remengesau in 1999 and the couple had four children.[11]


Whipps ran for president in the 2020 presidential election and defeated Vice-president Raynold Oilouch[3][12] in a campaign in which he stressed tax reforms and the creation of additional sources of revenue.[13] In an interview with the Guardian, then President-elect Whipps Jr. made the statement that Palau would more strongly oppose the actions of the Chinese government including illegal fishing and trespassing in Palauan waters as well as vowing to maintain the country's recognition of Taiwan.[8] In addition, he proposed to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine amongst Palau's population, with an emphasis on healthcare workers.[14]

During the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, Whipps said "We are drowning, and our only hope is the life-ring you are holding", strongly criticizing world powers in his speech.[15] On 28 September 2022, on the occasion of the state funeral for Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, in Tokyo, Whipps was one of only seven heads of state which met with Japanese Emperor Naruhito.[16]

In October 2022, President Whipps visited Taiwan again. He arrived in Taiwan on 5 October and was welcomed by President Tsai Ing-wen when he stepped off the plane. This was his second trip to visit Taiwan during his presidency.


  1. ^ a b "The Honorable SURANGEL S. WHIPPS". Institute of Museum and Library Services. Pacific Digital Library. 2020. p. 13. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Four candidates seek the presidency in Palau elections in 2020". January 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Surangel Whipps Jr to be Palau's new president". RNZ. 6 November 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Palau's new president vows to stand up to 'bully' China". 18 January 2021 – via
  5. ^ "Palau's new president vows to stand up to 'bully' China". 18 January 2021.
  6. ^ a b "TFB Interview: Surangel Whipps Jr. from Palau - YouTube". Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  7. ^ "Palau National Congress - Senators". Palau National Congress. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  8. ^ a b Carreon, Bernadette (2021-01-18). "Palau's new president vows to stand up to 'bully' China". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  9. ^ "Palau island election: Brothers-in-law vying for presidency". The Independent. 2016-10-31. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  10. ^ Carreon, Bernadette H. (2016-11-06). "Palau election too close to call, Results to be decided by overseas ballots". Guam Daily Post. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
  11. ^ "Surangel S, Whipps, Jr. President of Palau". The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel). Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  12. ^ Carreon, Bernadette (3 November 2020). "Palauans vote on new political era". RNZ. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Surangel Whipps Jr to be Palau's new president". RNZ. 2020-11-06. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  14. ^ "President Surangel Whipps, Jr. of Palau". Bridging Borders. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  15. ^ "'You might as well bomb us,' says president of Palau at COP26 climate summit". WION. 3 November 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Emperor Naruhito, in a rare move, meets with 7 heads of state in one day". Arab News Japan. Retrieved 2022-10-13.
Political offices
Preceded by President of Palau