Talofa, and welcome to the Pacific Center in Human Security (PCHS) as we officially launch the rebranding of our Center.  We are one of 68 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), a network that delivers four core functions (read more in the Pacific Center below) across the United States and Territories.  Our Center is distinctive as it merges the best of two worlds, the U.S. Territory and the Pacific, sharing stories through our work from the disability and aging lens.

As Islanders, our vulnerable location, harsh disasters, pandemics, health disparities, agriculture and food insecurity, and financial hardship persist without addressing the root cause.  When one area cascades into other aspects, overflowing into existing challenges, complex crises will affect our aging and disability community.  Our community must feel safe and secure while fostering self-determination.

Using the Human Security approach, we will strengthen community and cultural resilience.  We bring innovative solutions, partnerships, and opportunities with heaps of possibilities.  We look forward to building relationships and diversifying our regional, national, and international network.

Pacific Center in Human Security

Our Center was created to meet a broader and inimitable need for American Samoa, our cultural landscape, and our geographic location in the Pacific.  We are one of 68 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) across the United States and Territories.  Since the creation of American Samoa UCEDD in 1993, minimal resources have constricted the growth and delivery of the scope of services.  The creation of the Pacific Center in Human Security will allow the expansion of the Center to explore various threats experienced within our disability and aging community in a culturally competent manner.

Throughout the 30 years of our existence, we’ve learned to engage in grassroots conversations to the territory level that may harm our disability and aging community, advocate to save health and education services, network with great leaders to address systemic challenges, and navigate barriers to strengthen community and cultural resilience.  

Our Core Functions are:


To assure that individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages and their families participate fully in activities designed to promote freedom and self-determination in all facets of life that is culturally competent in American Samoa and the Pacific.


DIVERSITY embracing the perspective and acceptance of others

FAIRNESS cultivating an environment that believes in equity and opportunities for all

INTEGRITY to perform responsibly with sound judgment and principles

COURAGE to lead with action

HUMILITY to be inspired learning from others with respect and possibilities

Learn more about our history here. 

Core Functions

PACIFIC Atamai: Interdisciplinary, Preservice, Continuing Education
Pacific Journey: Research
PACIFIC Way: Training and Technical Assistance
PACIFIC Talk: Communications

What is Human Security?

Human Security is an inclusive and people-centered approach resulting in community and cultural resilience.  Human Security elements cover all aspects of life, similar to the area of emphasis identified in the Bill of Rights and Developmental Disabilities Act of 2000 (PL 106-402) that funds all UCEDDs.

Human Security, compared side by side below to area of emphasis, is implemented through the core functions.

Table of Human Security Elements with Area of Emphasis. Economic Security - employment and education. Environmental Security - Emergency preparedness, climate change, and health. Health Security - Health. Food Security - Health, emergency preparedness, and older adults. Community Security - Quality assurance, housing, recreation, and transportation. Personal Security - Quality assurance, child care, early intervention, trafficking, cybersecurity, financial exploration, and gender-based violence. Lastly, Political Security - Federal/Territorial  policies across all aspects.
List of Human Security Elements. Community, Economic, Environmental, Food, Health, Personal, and Political Security.