OHA to search for new Chief Executive

By: Ian Scheuring

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced today that it will begin searching for a new Chief Executive Officer. The search is expected to take place over the course of the next three to five months, according to OHA officials.

Clyde Namu'o, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' current Chief Executive, will be leaving OHA on December 30, 2011. A September 1, 2011 report stated that Mr. Namu'o was not expected to renew his contract with OHA, which was set to expire on July 31, 2012. The Board of Trustees will appoint an interim CEO by the end of this year.

OHA officials said that Mr. Namu'o's administration "has provided OHA with 10 years of continuity, consistency and stability."

Speaking on behalf of the OHA Trustees, Chairperson Colette Machado said, "We are very grateful to Mr. Namu'o for providing professional, decisive and inspirational leadership for OHA, throughout a ten year period of steady and remarkable growth. In serving our beneficiaries, Mr. Namu'o has always exhibited the best qualities of public service - unwavering commitment, compassion, trustworthiness, loyalty and professionalism," added Machado.

During Mr. Namu'o's tenure, the Kau Inoa native Hawaiian enrollment process was initiated and now has over 110,000 Hawaiians registered. His OHA administration has successfully defended Native Hawaiian rights from legal challenges in both state and federal courts, and took the lead on advocating for the passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act.

Mr. Namu'o took time on Wednesday to reflect upon his accomplishments during his time with OHA.

"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."

When asked about his reasons for leaving OHA, Mr. Namu'o said, "After all we have achieved, it is time for me to step down and pursue other endeavors and interests."

The Asset Resource Management 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.

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