Dr. James Perez Viernes is Regional Engagement and Development Officer of the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP).  Dr. Viernes was previously Outreach Director (Associate Faculty Specialist) on the core faculty of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM).  Prior to this, he was Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Chamorro Studies and Research Faculty of the Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam.  He is a Graduate Degree Fellow alum of the East-West Center where he also served as President of the Pan Pacific Association.

Dr. Viernes is from Guam and has extensive regional experience having built ongoing relationships and a record of collaborative projects throughout Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.  Drawing from these relationships, his professional and community-engaged activities demonstrate cooperative approaches to addressing a diverse range of issues prevalent in the Pacific with active engagement across academic, government, non-government, community, and private sectors.  


  • PhD,  History (Pacific Islands), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2015
  • MA, Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2008
  • BA, English (Literature), University of Guam, 2003


  • Negotiating Manhood: Chamorro Masculinities and US Military Colonialism in Guam, 1898-1941 (Manuscript in Preparation)
  • Micronesians Building Healthier Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic (with Dina M. Shek, Rebecca Delafield, and Joseph Pangelinan), Hawai‘i Journal of Health & Social Welfare – A Special Issue: Roadmap to a Healthier and More Equitable Hawai‘i: Solutions to Root Causes at the Intersections of Chronic Disease and Covid-19, 2021.
  • Introduction to Pacific Islands Studies (with Hokulani Aikau, Vilsoni Hereniko, Katerina Teaiwa, et. al.).  Alexander Mawyer, ed.  Teaching Oceania Series, Volume 6, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, 2020.
  • English Major, Indigenous Literatures of Micronesia. Evelyn Flores and Emelihter Kihleng, eds., University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2019.
  • Beloved Sumay, Indigenous Literatures of Micronesia, Evelyn Flores and Emelihter Kihleng, edss, University of Hawaiʻi Press 2019.
  • Gender in the Pacific (with Greg Dvorak, Delihna Ehmes, Evile Felete, and Teresia Teaiwa). Teaching Oceania Series, Volume 2, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, 2016
  • Mantieni i Familia: War, Survival, and the Chamorro Family, Families in the Face of Survival, Guam War Survivors Memorial Foundation, 2016.
  • Hurao Revisited: Hypocrisy and Double Standards in Contemporary Histories and Historiographies of Guam, Milestones in Marianas History, Guampedia Foundation, Inc., 2016.
  • Manning Up: On Being a Chamorro Researcher with a Home Court (Dis)Advantage on Guam, At Home and in the Field: Ethnographic Encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands, University of Hawaii Press, 2015.
  • Sumay: Rikuetdo para i Famagu’on-ta/A Legacy for Our Children, Guam Preservation Trust, 2013.
  • Chamorro Men in the Making: Capitalism and Indigenous Masculinities Under US Military Colonialism in Guam,  PacifiCurrents: The E-Journal of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University, 2010.
  • Won’t You Please Come Back to Guam: Media Discourse, Military Build-up, and Chamorros in the Space Between, The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place and Identity in the Pacific. A. Marata Tamaira, ed. Center for Pacific Islands Studies and University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2010.