OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Board of Trustees

OHA’s Board of Trustees (BOT) is composed of nine trustees who are elected to their seats in public elections open to all State of Hawai‘i voters. Four of the nine positions on the Board are designated as at-large seats representing the state as a whole, while the other five trustees represent each of the following districts: Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. While there are residency requirements for candidates seeking the district seats, all voters statewide are permitted to vote in each of the OHA races. Trustees are elected to their seats for four-year terms, and there is no limit on the number of terms a trustee may serve.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting OHA policy and managing the agency’s trust. The Board meets regularly at the agency’s headquarters in Honolulu, and at least once annually on each of the major islands.

Each of the trustees sits on the Board’s two standing committees: Committee on Resource Management (RM) and the Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment (BAE). The Committee on Resource Management recommends policies for the management of the agency’s investment portfolio and other OHA fiscal and budgetary matters, in addition to policies relating to land use, native rights and natural and cultural resources. In addition, it develops policies and guidelines for OHA’s land acquisitions, dispositions, development and management.

The BAE Committee focuses on the agency’s legislative and advocacy efforts, as well as OHA programs that address issues relating to health, human services, education, housing, land use, environment and natural resources. The RM Committee and the BAE Committee convene regularly – both separately and jointly – and the committees’ approved actions and recommendations are forwarded to the full Board for consideration and final approval.


Photo: Robert K. Lindsey Robert K. Lindsey Jr. has represented Hawaiʻi Island as an OHA trustee since 2007. He also has represented various organizations, sitting on the boards for Habitat for Humanity in West Hawaiʻi, the West Hawaiʻi Mediation Center, and a charter school, Kanu o Ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana, in Kamuela. He is retired from Kamehameha Schools, where he was the director of the Land Assets Division on Hawaiʻi Island. Before that, he worked for the National Park Service as a park ranger. To contact, call (808) 594-1855 or email: robertl@oha.org

Photo: Colette Y. Machado Colette Y. Machado has represented Molokaʻi and Lāna‘i as an OHA trustee since 1996. She is currently serving as the Chairwoman of the board. She also served as the board’s chair from December 2010 to December 2014. She has been a Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commissioner; Hawaiʻi State Land Use Commissioner and a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Commissioner. She also is a founding member of the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Community Based Economic Development. To contact, call (808) 594-1941 or email: colettem@oha.org

Brendon Lee Headshot Brendon Kaleiʻāina Lee was elected OHA Trustee-at-Large in 2018, and is currently serving as the Vice Chairman of the board. To contact, call (808) 594-1860 or email brendonl@oha.org.

Photo: Kelii Akina Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D. was elected OHA Trustee-at-Large in 2016. As a public policy leader in Hawaiʻi, Akina has pursued the advancement of the Hawaiian people while encouraging all citizens to work together for a better economy, government and society. Akina is President/CEO of the Grassroot Institute and an adjunct faculty member of Hawaiʻi Pacific University. He is a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools, Northwestern University and the University of Hawaiʻi and is active in numerous community and faith-based organizations. To contact, call (808) 594-1976 or e-mail TrusteeAkina@oha.org.

Kalei Akaka was elected to represent the island of Oʻahu as an OHA trustee in 2018. To contact, call (808) 594-1854 or email kaleia@oha.org.

Photo: John D. Waihee John D. Waiheʻe IV has been an OHA trustee-at-large since 2000. He is also the son of former Governor John Waihe‘e, who was instrumental in creating OHA. In addition, he has served on the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission and the Native Hawaiian Historic Preservation Council. His other affiliations include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Japanese American Citizens League. To contact, call (808) 594-1876 or email: crayna@oha.org

Photo: Carmen Hulu Lindsey Carmen Hulu Lindsey has represented Maui as an OHA trustee since January 2012. She also has been a long-time member of the ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu and an active member of the Central Maui Hawaiian Civic Club. In addition, she is a former properties administrator for Maui Land & Pineapple Co. as well as the former administrator for the County of Maui’s Land Use and Codes Division. She is also a recording artist. To contact, call (808) 594-1858 or email: hulul@oha.org

Photo: Dan Ahuna Dan Ahuna has represented the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau as an OHA trustee since November 2012. He is actively involved in youth sports as a coach and has played football for the University of Hawaiʻi from 1989 to 1991. He has also been actively involved in various community organizations. In addition, he has been a teacher at Kauaʻi High School. To contact, call (808) 594-1751 or email: dana@oha.org

Photo: Leinaala Ahu Isa Leina‘ala Ahu Isa, Ph.D. has served our state for over 24 years as an elected official in the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives, the State Board of Education, and now, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Ahu Isa also serves as the Principal Broker for Hilton, and an Adjunct Professor. Elected to OHA in 2014, Ahu Isa speaks fondly of her mentor, former Senator T.C. Yim. She is passionate to serve, with a strong ethically-driven fiduciary duty to our beneficiaries.  To contact, call (808) 594-1877 or email: leia@oha.org


Photo: OHA Trustees

Machado remains OHA chair with support of full board

eddie big wave surf

OHA statement on The Eddie Big Wave Invitational

Office of Hawaiian Affairs logo

OHA offering $7 million for community grants

Photo: Mauna Kea

OHA statement on Hawaiʻi Supreme Court ruling on the Thirty Meter Telescope Permit

Photo: OHA Staff receive Native Hawaiian Housing award

OHA receives 2018 Native Hawaiian Housing Award