HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kamehameha Schools' Board of Trustees today announced their selection of Livingston "Jack" Wong as Chief Executive Officer of the educational trust.
Wong has been serving as interim CEO since April 2014, when Dee Jay Mailer retired.
"In the last six months, we have had the opportunity to work very closely with Jack, to personally experience the skills, and professional and personal qualities he brings to Kamehameha Schools. We have come to know and trust his judgment and his instinct in the CEO position," said Board Chair Lance Wilhelm. "But most of all, we value and appreciate his passion for our educational mission – Jack exemplifies the values of Pauahi, of Kamehameha Schools and our lahui, and his leadership and commitment will serve us well."
Wong joined KS in 1997 as senior counsel specializing in commercial real estate. He was promoted to director of KS' Endowment Legal Division in 2000, and subsequently helped lead Kamehameha's defense of its Hawaiian preference admission policy. In 2013, Jack was named Vice President for Legal Affairs.
"I am very honored by the Trustees' vote of confidence in me – I believe we have built a mutually respectful and trusting relationship," explained Wong. "I know I have their support as I focus on making sure that our entire organization is doing everything we can to serve the Kamehameha Schools mission."
Trustee Janeen Olds, who led the selection process, affirmed the board's unanimous selection of Mr. Wong: "I believe there is no better indicator of Jack's devotion to our mission than the extraordinary work he has already done for our organization," said Olds. "After nearly two decades, Jack knows and understands Kamehameha Schools, and has been protecting and cultivating its legacy. He is a true servant leader dedicated to the wellbeing of Pauahi's beneficiaries."
After graduating from UCLA with degrees in economics and law, Wong began his legal career at Morrison and Foerster in Los Angeles, Calif., and then returned to Hawai'i to practice law at Bendet, Fidell, Sakai and Lee. He represented international, national and local businesses, financial institutions and landowners, in the areas of real estate, finance, and business associations. Wong also previously served as an adjunct professor at Hawai'i Pacific University, teaching courses in business law.
In accordance with the Will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the governance of Kamehameha Schools rests with a Board of Trustees (the Board). Composed of five individuals — equally vested with the responsibility and duty of collectively carrying out the Will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop.
In August 2000, the Board of Trustees authorized a structural reorganization of Kamehameha Schools that began with institutional governance. For the first time in the Schools' history, responsibility for day-to-day management of Kamehameha's education and endowment operations was placed in the hands of a Chief Executive Officer and his/her leadership team.
Wong is the third CEO in the history of the trust. He and his wife, Kimi, have three children.