Fainu’ulelei Falefatu Ala’ilima-Utu was born and raised in American Samoa. Excelling in school at a young age, Fainu’ulelei graduated from high school in California at the age of 15 before furthering his education at the American Samoa Community College, where he graduated as the class Valedictorian in 1984. Upon completion of his A.A. degree, Fainu’ulelei decided to pursue university studies in the mainland U.S. with the goal of returning to American Samoa to serve his people. In 1986 he received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, at Los Angeles (UCLA). He then went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from UCLA School of Law in 1989. Fainu’ulelei was admitted to practice law in the state of Hawai’i and the territory of American Samoa in 1990.
Since returning home in 1990, Fainu’ulelei has served in various esteemed positions over the past 30 years. He served as an assistant attorney general for the Department of Legal Affairs for over 12 years before moving on to be the legal counsel for the Development Bank of American Samoa for 11 years. In 2006 he was called to serve as the commissioner for the American Samoa Future Political Status Study Commission and in 2010 he served as chief legal counsel for the American Samoa Constitutional Convention. He served as executive director of the American Samoa Legal Aid Office for five years. He is a former president of the American Samoa Bar Association and a former chairman of the Board of Higher Education.
On January 3rd, 2021, governor-elect Lemanu P.S. Mauga appointed Fainu’ulelei as the attorney general for American Samoa, and he was unanimously confirmed as attorney general by both chambers of the Fono. He is a lay preacher of the Methodist Church and holds chiefly titles in both American Samoa and Samoa. He is married with four children.