Office of Insular Affairs
The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is a unit of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States possessions. It is the successor to the Bureau of Insular Affairs
Bureau of Insular Affairs
The Bureau of Insular Affairs was a division of the United States War Department that oversaw United States administration of certain territories from 1902 until 1939....

 of the War Department, which administered certain territories from 1902 to 1939, and the Office of Territorial Affairs
Office of Territorial Affairs
The Office of Territorial Affairs was an office within the United States Department of the Interior responsible for administration of certain United States territories....

 (formerly the Division of Territories and Island Possessions and then the Office of Territories) in the Interior Department, which was responsible for certain territories from the 1930s to the 1990s. The word "insular" comes from the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word insula ("island").

Currently, the OIA has administrative responsibility for coordinating federal policy in the territories of American Samoa
American Samoa
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

, Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and oversight of federal programs and funds in the freely associated Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia or FSM is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands with c...

, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

The OIA, led by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas (since September 2009, Anthony M. Babauta), also has jurisdiction of "excluded areas" of Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll is an essentially unoccupied equatorial Northern Pacific atoll administered as an unorganized incorporated territory by the United States federal government...

 and "residual administration" of Wake Island
Wake Island
Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu west to Guam east. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior...


Relations between the United States and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 are coordinated between the Office of the Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration
Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration
The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration represents the Government of Puerto Rico before federal, state, and local governments, promotes the Governor of Puerto Rico's economic and public policy initiatives to achieve a better quality of life for the four million U.S...

, not the OIA.

See also

  • Insular area
    Insular area
    An insular area is a United States territory, that is neither a part of one of the fifty U.S. states nor the District of Columbia, the federal district of the United States...

  • Compact of Free Association
    Compact of Free Association
    The Compact of Free Association defines the relationship that three sovereign states—the Federated States of Micronesia , the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau—have entered into as associated states with the United States.Now sovereign nations, the three freely associated...

  • Protectorate
    In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

  • Colonial Office
    Colonial Office
    Colonial Office is the government agency which serves to oversee and supervise their colony* Colonial Office - The British Government department* Office of Insular Affairs - the American government agency* Reichskolonialamt - the German Colonial Office...

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