Now based in the Wellington area, Dr Ulu has been working in Aotearoa and the Pacific throughout his career, focusing on international and domestic development issues particularly in health and education. Junior Ulu has studied at Victoria University of Wellington, at the bachelor's and master's levels and in 2018 he completed a PHD in development studies. He’s also a qualified secondary education teacher and started his formal career teaching in schools in Auckland in the late 1990s. He then returned to his country of birth Samoa to take up a role at the New Zealand High Commission in Apia managing the NZAID Scholarships programme. Back in New Zealand from 2003 Junior worked at Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) for over 13 years culminating in a role as the Director of International Development. During this time he visited the Pacific extensively, developing his understanding of on-the-ground development issues and has formed enduring relationships.
Junior has undertaken short-term roles and consultancies with the New Zealand MFAT, with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Habitat of Humanity, ChildFund NZ and Counties Manukau District Health Board. In 2020 he took up a role as Director Pacific Peoples Health at Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards.
But international development is in his DNA and Junior remains invested in developing people, exchanging ideas, and moving past the ‘talk’ to get things done. He combines local knowledge and on the ground realities with best practice rigour, research and rationale.