Northern Marianas profile
Head of state: President Barack Obama
Head of government: Governor Benigno Fitial
Veteran politician Benigno Fitial, from the Covenant Party, won elections in November 2005. He promised to tackle the territory's economic problems and said his priority would be to revive tourism.
He took office amid questions about his relationship with a prominent US government lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges in January 2006.
Mr Fitial won re-election in November 2009.