The state Probate Court has selected Michelle Kauhane as the newest member of the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees. She will replace Trustee Lance Keawe Wilhelm, whose term expires on June 30, 2023.
Michelle’s professional career includes over 15 years of executive leadership experience in public and non-profit administration. She currently serves as Senior Vice President – Chief Impact Officer for Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, overseeing the foundation’s external facing departments, including community grants and initiatives, development and donor relations, and strategic communications and public policy. Michelle joined the foundation in 2018 as Senior Vice President – Community Grants and Investments, managing an annual discretionary grant budget of $40 million.
A leader in the Native Hawaiian community, Michelle served as President and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement from 2013 to 2018, helping to advance the national member-based organization’s policy priorities in education, housing, and economic development. She also served as Deputy Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands from 2011 to 2012 and as executive director of Hawaiian Community Assets from 2004 to 2011.
In 2021, Michelle was appointed by President Joe Biden to the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders as a commissioner to help advance equity, justice and opportunity for Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities. In addition, she currently serves as a community advisory council member to Royal Business Bank.
Locally, Michelle continues to serve the community as vice chair for the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, board member of the Kapolei Community Development Corporation, and member of Ahahui Sivila O Kapolei.
A 1986 graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Gonzaga University.
Her term ends June 30, 2028, at which time she will have the option to petition the court for a five-year reappointment.
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