The head of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community says the organisation is not robbing the region of its brightest minds.
The regional body, which is marking its 65th anniversary with a strategic review, recruits just over half of its 300 staff from its 22 Pacific Island country members.
The director general Dr Jimmie Rodgers says there's always been the question of whether the SPC takes the cream of Pacific Islanders but in his experience it does not.
He says with a maximum term of six years, an SPC job isn't a career path, which makes it unattractive to many senior professionals.
"And then the other part is we have had senior people that we've recruited from these countries in some of the sectors and fisheries is a good example. And the important thing is that these people actually go back and actually back into very senior positions in their government."
Dr Jimmie Rodgers says most Pacific Island staff who work for the SPC return to their home countries.