OHA announces search for new CEO
OHA announces search for new CEO
HONOLULU - With anticipation and sadness, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Board of Trustees announces today it will begin the search for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). OHA’s current CEO, Clyde Nāmuʻo, will be leaving OHA on December 30, 2011. In its meeting this morning, OHA Trustees approved a process to initiate a search for a new CEO, which is anticipated to unfold over the course of the next three to five months.
On September 1, 2011, a news article reported Mr. Nāmuʻo was not expected to renew his contract which is due to expire on July 31, 2012. Given this, both the Board of Trustees and Mr. Nāmuʻo met and decided to target early 2012 for the change in leadership.
Speaking on behalf of the OHA Trustees, Chairperson Colette Machado said, “We are very grateful to Mr. Nāmuʻo for providing professional, decisive and inspirational leadership for OHA, throughout a ten year period of steady and remarkable growth. In serving our beneficiaries, Mr. Nāmuʻo has always exhibited the best qualities of public service - unwavering commitment, compassion, trustworthiness, loyalty and professionalism,” added Machado.
Chair Machado also noted, “When Mr. Nāmuʻo assumed the role of Administrator in 2001, OHA stood on very shaky ground. He walked into an office that our Native Hawaiian beneficiaries looked upon with suspicion, skepticism and mistrust. Mr. Nāmuʻo was largely responsible for changing this around by taking to heart the principles of pono and aloha - justice and fairness, integrity, unequaled courtesy, generosity and spirited leadership.”
It is widely acknowledged that Mr. Nāmuʻo’s administration has provided OHA with 10 years of continuity, consistency and stability. His legacy is the solid foundation that he has forged for the organization, and upon which a new generation can build as OHA moves forward.
During Mr. Nāmuʻo’s administration, OHA clarified its internal fiscal and personnel operations and adopted and implemented spending and investment policies. The agency fulfilled the goals of one strategic plan period and has adopted a strategic plan for the next five years. OHA's input in environmental regulatory procedures is taken seriously by other agencies and private entitles.
For the first time since the 1893 Overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, “Hawaiian Land” was returned to “Hawaiian Hands” with the acquisition of the Wao Kele O Puna rainforest on Hawaiʻi Island and Waimea Valley on Oʻahu. OHA hosted gubernatorial and congressional debates in the broader political arena and took the lead on advocating for the passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. The Kau Inoa enrollment process was initiated and now has over 110,000 Hawaiians registered. OHA has successfully defended Native Hawaiian rights and entitlements from legal challenges in both state and federal courts.
Reflecting upon the accomplishments of the past ten years, Clyde Nāmuʻo said, “The past 10 years has been a time of significant change for OHA as indicated in part, for example, by the increase of the operating budget from $12 million to over $30 million a year. I thank the OHA Trustees for giving me the opportunity to serve our beneficiaries with expanded services and programs and a more effective and clearly defined role as an advocate for Native Hawaiians.” Nāmuʻo added, “After all we have achieved, it is time for me to step down and pursue other endeavors and interests.”
The Asset Resource Management (ARM) Committee will be responsible for carrying out the recruitment process for the new CEO and will submit its recommendations for approval to the full Board, which will make the final decision. The Board will also appoint an interim CEO by the end of this year.