OHA appoints permanent CEO at ‘critical moment’ in its 40-year history

Updated: Nov. 21, 2019 at 6:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ board Thursday voted unanimously to appoint educator and administrator Sylvia Hussey as its permanent CEO.

Hussey has served as interim CEO since July after embattled former CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe left the organization. Her appointment, effective Dec. 1, is for five years at an initial salary of $170,000 a year.

“This is a critical moment in the 40-year history of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs,” said OHA Chair Colette Machado.

“The Board and administration have been collaborating on a number of critical projects that will transition OHA into a new chapter," said board Chair Collette Machado.

The move comes as OHA has embarked on a 15-year strategic plan to expand its educational and economic reach and preserve Hawaiian culture and practices.

New CEO Sylvia Hussey says implementing OHA strategic plan -- to broaden its economic,...
New CEO Sylvia Hussey says implementing OHA strategic plan -- to broaden its economic, educational and cultural reach -- will be her key goal.(Alice Silbanuz/OHA)

Prior to joining OHA, Hussey was executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council and served more than a decade at the Kamehameha Schools, where she was vice president of administration.

There, she was part of the management team that helped reform the school and the trust after the 1990s “Broken Trust” scandal led to replacement of the entire board.

“Whatever is going on in the boardroom is at the boardroom and with the board. We are really focussed on implementation" of OHA’s strategic plan, Hussey said.

“Uplifting the lahui continues to be a theme supported top to bottom.”

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