Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
The Honorable Arnold I. Palacios is the 10th Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, serving alongside Lieutenant Governor David M. Apatang since January 2023.
He previously served as the 12th Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, serving alongside Governor Ralph DLG. Torres from January 2019 to January 2023. As Lt. Governor, he oversaw the Office of Planning and Development, the Office of Grants Management, and the CNMI’s permitting agencies and led policy initiatives on government efficiency, business permitting processes, and regulatory functions. He also played an active role in the CNMI’s relationship with the Federal Government with discussions on labor viability and proposed military projects in the Marianas.
Governor Palacios also served as the Senate President during the 20th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature from January 2017 to January 2019 and as Senate Vice President during the 19th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature from January 2015 to January 2017. He has served four terms in the House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 16th Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature from January 2008 to January 2010. He also served as the Secretary of Lands and Natural Resources from February 2012 to January 2015.
During his time in the Legislature, he championed legislation and policies on natural resources, environmental conservation, economic development, and federal relations. He was a member of the Governor’s Section 902 Consultation team in 2016, when he helped articulate the CNMI’s position on labor, immigration, and US military buildup proposals. As Senate President, he created the Office of Planning and Development, which establishes development objectives, standards, and principles for the CNMI’s desired land use for residential, recreational, agricultural, commercial, and industrial needs.
Born on August 22, 1955, Lt. Governor Palacios was born on Saipan and attended Mt. Carmel School. He attended Portland State University in Oregon and earned his bachelor of science degree in Business Administration/Management.
Please be advised that the Administrative Leave Memorandum dated December 29, 2022 regarding Administrative Leave on December 30, 2022 and numbered GOV22-264 is to be recalled and disregarded, effective immediately.