Kamehameha Schools has named Kekoa Kaluhiwa senior director for the Statewide Operations Division of its Community Engagement and Resources (CE&R) Group. Kaluhiwa replaces Sydney Keliʻipuleʻole, who will retire after 30 years of service.
Kaluhiwa begins his new role on July 25 and will develop and lead CE&R statewide departments which include Leasing and Transactions, ʻĀina Engagement, and Natural and Cultural Resources. Additionally, he will work with regional teams, Strategy and Innovation, Administration, Finance, Legal and Education group leaders; and ensure quality, efficiency and effectiveness in service to the communities KS serves.
Prior to joining the KS ‘ohana, Kaluhiwa served as first deputy of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources where he was responsible for managing, administering, and exercising control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, and non-commercial coastal areas. The department’s jurisdiction encompasses nearly 1.3 million acres of state lands, beaches, coastal waters as well as 750 miles of coastline.
“Kekoa brings an unmatched breadth and depth of experience to the Kamehameha Schools ʻohana,” said KS Vice President of Community Engagement and Resources Kāʻeo Duarte. “His experience with DLNR, strategic planning and proven ability to bring people to the table and execute will help move KS’ vision and mission forward.”
Kaluhiwa has also served as principal of Kuano‘o Communications, specializing in business development consulting in strategic public and government relations strategies, and director of External Affairs for First Wind Energy, providing community, government and media relation strategies in the successful development of several utility scale renewable energy projects in Hawaiʻi.
A former executive assistant to U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, he was also a fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and a graduate intern in the former Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools.
“As someone who benefitted from the legacy of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi, I am deeply humbled to have this opportunity to support her vision for a thriving lāhui,” Kaluhiwa said. “Our natural and cultural resources are the foundation of our identity. They teach us of our past, sustain us in the present, and offer hope for our future. There is no greater kuleana than to ensure that we steward them wisely, for the enjoyment of future generations. I look forward to joining the many talented and dedicated members within the Kamehameha 'ohana.”
Kaluhiwa is a KS Kapālama graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, with an emphasis in environmental planning and management theory.