OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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Executive Team

Seven executives currently 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 five 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.


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is currently recruiting to fill its Chief Executive Officer (Ka Pouhana) position.



Sylvia Hussey, Ed.D is the Chief Operating Officer (Ka Pou Nui), and currently serves as the interim CEO (Ka Pouhana Kūikawā). She was appointed to the COO 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: Lisa Watkins-Victorino

Lisa Watkins-Victorino, Ph.D. is the Research Director (Ka Pou Kihi Kane), and is currently serving as the interim Chief Operating Officer (Ka Pou Nui) for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She was appointed to her Research Director 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 Resource Manager & Land Assets 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.
Photo: Lisa Victor

Lisa Victor is currently the Chief Technology Officer (Pou Nui ‘Enehana). She was the Chief Operating Officer for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for about 3 years. She brings 25 years of Technology Development and Implementation from her previous duties as Director of Information Technology, Consulting, Application Programming and Network/Telephony engineering. She has a degree in Information Science, and with her team is responsible with directing how OHA engages with the community through the deliberate placement of technologies.

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