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Toeolesulusulu Professor Damon Salesa is an interdisciplinary scholar focused on Oceania, deeply influenced by Indigenous Pacific cultures, particularly his own Samoan genealogy. He is an award-winning author, whose publications include Racial Crossings: Race, Intermarriage, and the Victorian British Empire (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Island Time: New Zealand’s Pacific Futures (BWB Texts, 2017). Dr Salesa was educated in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and was the first Rhodes Scholar of Pacific descent at the University of Oxford from where he obtained his doctorate. He has held academic positions in New Zealand and the United States. Currently the Vice-Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology, he was honoured as a Fellow of the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2021 for his outstanding contribution to Pacific Studies.


  • 2022–present
    Vice Chancellor, Auckland University of Technology
  • 2018–2021
    Pro Vice-Chancellor – Pacific, Univeristy of Auckland