OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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Executive Team

Eight executives make up the senior administrative leadership at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. OHA’s executive team provides the authority and credibility needed to guide the strategic direction of the organization. The team is led by a Chief Executive Officer, who is appointed by the Board of Trustees. But the CEO selects all of the other members of the executive team, which is anchored by the Chief Operating Officer. The six other members of OHA’s executive team report directly to the Chief Operating Officer. Together, OHA executives all work as a team to bring the right combination of skills and experience to implementing policies, performing various functions of the operation, and helping the organization achieve its goals.


Photo: Kamanaopono Crabbe

Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, Ph.D. is the CEO (Ka Pouhana) at the Office of Hawaiian since January 2012. His priorities include restoring OHA’s integrity in the Native Hawaiian community. He is also focused on nurturing a sense of commitment to empowering Hawaiians and strengthening Hawaiʻi. He was selected from OHA’s executive team, where he had been Research Director since November 2009, gathering data needed for OHA to make sound decisions that allows it to engage policymakers in its efforts. Before joining OHA, he was the Director of Psychology Training at the Waiʻanae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.




Sylvia Hussey, Ed.D is the Chief Operating Officer (Ka Pou Nui) for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She was appointed to this position in November 2018. Hussey brings more than 30 years of experience in education administration, policy development and implementation, finance, operations, and information technology. She served in leadership positions at various institutions throughout the state, most recently as the executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council, and previously was with Kamehameha Schools for more than a decade where she was the vice president of administration. Dr. Hussey is also a certified public accountant (not in public practice) and previously worked as a director at Candon Consulting Group, senior manager at KPMG Consulting and finance director at the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Hussey received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, and has a master’s degree in Education Foundations and a doctorate of education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.


Photo: David Laeha

David K. Laeha is the Chief Financial Officer/Resource Management – Financial Assets Director (Ka Pou Kihi Kanaloa) for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He started service in this role in May 2017. His responsibilities include overseeing OHA’s fiscal and investment infrastructures as well as OHA’s grants, loans and scholarship programs. Among his primary responsibilities are analyzing opportunities, making recommendations and maximizing the value of the Native Hawaiian Trust Fund and other investments. Laeha has 25 years of accounting and financial management experience. He is a licensed CPA with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern California. Before joining OHA he worked for Fortune 500 firms such as GTE and IBM. For over a decade he operated his own consulting firm, CFO Hawai‘i LLC, which provided interim CFO services to high-growth businesses.


Photo: Lisa Watkins-Victorino

Lisa Watkins-Victorino, Ph.D. is the Research Director (Ka Pou Kihi Kane) for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She was appointed to her position in April 2012. Her responsibilities include collecting reliable data critical to the OHA’s ability to engage the Hawaiʻi Legislature and others in the organization’s work. Her staff conducts and shares research intended to guide decisions and ensure that OHA’s efforts are based on solid information. She came to OHA from the Department of Education, where she was an educational officer/evaluation assistant in the agency’s Systems Evaluation and Reporting Section. Before that, she was a junior specialist/program assistant with the University of Hawai‘i’s Social Welfare Evaluation and Research Unit. In addition, she was a lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i’s School of Social Work.


Photo: Nicole Mehanaokala Hind

Nicole Mehanaokalā Hind is the Community Engagement Director (Ka Pou Kihi Lono) for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She was appointed in February 2016. Her responsibilities include building widespread public support for OHA’s efforts, improving public profile of Native Hawaiians and keeping key audiences involved and strongly attached to the organization’s priorities. She came to OHA in 2012 as the Knowledge Based Strategist Specialist and has contributed to executive leadership in a number of high-profile initiatives including, but not limited to, nation building, educational partnerships with charter schools and the University of Hawai‘i, Papahānaumokuākea cultural excursions, and advocacy at the United Nations. A graduate of Moanalua High School, Mehana attended Honolulu Community College before getting her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa


Photo: Miles Nishijima

Miles Nishijima is the Land and Property Director for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He was appointed to his position in October 2014. He is responsible for providing strategic direction to the organization’s efforts to be a responsible steward of more than 27,000 acres of land. He most recently was vice president of property management at Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. He also previously served as assistant vice president of asset management for Kāneʻohe Ranch Management Limited, where he was responsible for handling leases for 151 commercial tenants occupying more than 300,000 square feet of space. He brings more than 30-years of commercial real estate executive experience to the newly created position.

 



The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is currently recruiting to fill its Chief Advocate (Ka Pou Kihi Kū) position.

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