Board of Directors

HIPA’s Board represents a diversity of Hawaii’s most prominent leaders of business, labor, community and government. This collaboration provides oversight and guidance on HIPA’s development, public policy projects, and fundraising endeavors.

Lauren Nahme

Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, Kamehameha Schools Lauren Nahme is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Kamehameha Schools, the $10.2 billion educational trust. In that role, she is responsible for facilitating the strategy development, innovation processes and performance management processes of the organization. She was formally the director of strategic planning and reporting and the controller for the organization and among other things, worked jointly with the Strategic Planning Division to synchronize organization-wide planning and budgeting activities. She has worked for other organizations including Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, City Bank, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and has been involved in numerous community service activities throughout her career.

Alan M. Oshima

President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaiian Electric Company Alan Oshima was named president and chief executive officer of the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. effective Oct. 1, 2014. Alan first joined Hawaiian Electric as a member of the board of directors in 2008. In 2011, he left the board to serve at HEI, Hawaiian Electric’s parent company, as executive vice president for corporate and community advancement and president of the HEI Charitable Foundation. In May 2014, he joined the Hawaiian Electric executive team full time. Prior to joining the Hawaiian Electric Board in 2008, Alan served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Hawaiian Telcom from 2005 to 2008 and later as a senior adviser and director helping the company successfully emerge from reorganization in 2010. Alan also founded the law firm of Oshima Chun Fong & Chung and, prior to that, practiced law with Carlsmith Ball. With his significant experience with electric, telecommunications and transportation companies, as well as water and sewer resources in Hawai‘i, Alan was consistently recognized as one of “America’s Best Lawyers” in the field of public utilities. He has received the Hawai‘i State Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award and been recognized by the Hawai‘i Institute of Public Affairs and the Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation for his leadership and commitment to improving public education in Hawai‘i. Alan chairs Hawai‘i 3Rs, a nonprofit organization that facilitates public-private partnerships to repair, restore and remodel Hawai‘i’s public schools. He serves as a director of the Hawai‘i Institute of Public Affairs where he’s helped lead an initiative to form a public school land trust to rebuild and upgrade school facilities across the state. Alan also serves as one of the six Hawai‘i Commissioners on the Education Commission of the States and as a member of the Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Team. He is also a longtime volunteer and former chairman of the board for the YMCA of Honolulu and previously served on the board of advisors for The Learning Coalition. A graduate of Farrington High School, Alan received a marketing degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He also served as a Supply Corps Officer with the U.S. Navy and among other places was stationed in Pearl Harbor and San Diego.

Jeanne Schultz Afuvai

President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs Jeanne Schultz Afuvai is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) and has been with the organization since 2006. Prior to joining HIPA, she served in Governor John D. Waihee III’s cabinet as deputy director of the state Department of Transportation, where she was involved in infrastructure needs of Highways, Harbors and Airports. Among other things, she led the team that successfully lobbied Washington D.C. for more international flights between Japan and Hawaii and worked on the effort that is now known as “visa waiver.” In business, she played a key role in the development of Kapolei as Oahu’s second city, having served as marketing manager at the James Campbell Estate. Earlier, she worked for the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii where she established the military affairs council, Alexander and Baldwin Agribusiness as senior vice president of marketing and Xerox Corporation as branch sales manager in San Francisco. Jeanne has been honored with the “Citation for Exceptional Service in Support of National Defense” by the Association of the US Army. She earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Barbara J. Tanabe

President, Hoakea Communications Barbara J. Tanabe is the owner and managing partner of Ho‛ākea Communications, a public affairs company in Hawaii. The former CEO of a major public relations agency, she is a communications and issues management specialist with 30 years of experience in public affairs, crisis & issues management, and broadcast journalism in the United States and Asia. In 1987, Ms. Tanabe joined Hill and Knowlton Hawaii, then the state's largest and oldest public relations company. She was named president in 1992 and chief executive officer in 1993. She has counseled clients in Asia and the United States in the areas of cross-cultural communications, crisis and issues management, marketing communications, and news and presentation training. Ms. Tanabe received the John W. Hill Award for Excellence, the firm's highest recognition for outstanding client service. Ms. Tanabe is actively involved in community and civic organizations. She has served on numerous State boards and commissions and was a delegate to the White House Conference on Families in 1980. In 1994, she became the first woman to chair the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, the leading visitor organization in the United States. She is currently a director of the Bank of Hawaii, serving on its compensation committee and chairs the trust services board committee. She is chair of the Hawaii Chapter of WomenCorporateDirectors, trustee of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, board member of Pacific Forum (Asia arm of the Center for Strategic and International Studies), founding chair and board member of the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, past board chair of the Japan America Society of Hawaii. She also served on numerous American Judicature Society Special Committees to strengthen public confidence in the judicial system. Ms. Tanabe was inducted into the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business Alumni Hall of Honor in 1996, and received the University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. She is one of the pioneer journalists featured in the Newseum in Washington D.C. Ms. Tanabe received her BA in Communications at the University of Washington and an MBA at the University of Hawaii.

John Leong

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pono Pacific John Leong was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from the same school as President Obama, Punahou School. He then studied business at the Wharton School, at the University of Pennsylvania where he focused on Environmental Policy & Management and Entrepreneurial Management. Upon finishing at Wharton in 2000, Mr. Leong decided to return home to Hawaii to utilize his experiences and education to help preserve and protect one of the most special places on earth. He first started a company that provided conservation and land management services to Hawaii. Later in 2006 he co-founded Kupu and serves today as its Chief Executive Officer. Today, Kupu, houses seven different programs that engage young adults in service, develop career and educational pathway opportunities, and provide training for youth/young adults in the areas of natural resource management, conservation and sustainability. Over the last few years, Kupu has made a large impact in Hawaii, serving on all the main Hawaiian islands and creating more than $35 million in benefits to the state in the areas of conservation, sustainability, education, job training, and social services. The organization offers approximately 300 youth positions each year, providing around 230,000 service hours, to its 80 partnering organizations across five islands. Members of Kupu lead up to 17,000 volunteers annually. The organization has not only successfully created opportunities for local youth to work and develop careers in related industries; they have also utilized these programs to transform lives for the better. The organization is making a huge impact and has received multiple local and national awards/recognitions including the US Forest Service Region 5 award for “Engaging Youth” and in February of 2014 one of Kupu’s youth from the island of Moloka`i received the White House’s Champion of Change Award in Washington, DC. Kupu is based on the “youth corps” model and is a member of The Corps Network and is also an accredited 21st Century Service and Conservation Corps organization. Mr. Leong is married to Julianna Rapu Leong who is originally from Easter Island and co-founder of Kupu. Together they have four young children and live in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Sherry Menor-McNamara

President and Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Sherry Menor-McNamara is the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii; becoming the youngest and first female leader and the first Japanese-Filipino of the organization’s 165-year history. She previously worked for the Hawaii State Legislature, ESPN’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Estee Lauder Company, Elton John Production, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and the Executive Office of the United States President. She serves on numerous boards including the Queen’s Health Systems, JAIMS Foundation, Girl Scouts of Hawaii, FILCom Center, East-West Center Foundation, Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders, and Move Oahu Forward, as well as on a number of task forces. She currently is a fellow of the Omidyar Fellows Leadership Program. In 2015, Sherry was selected to represent the United States in the Korea Foundation’s Program for Distinguished Individuals in Economic Sector. In 2014, she was selected to participate in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Program. In 2014, she was recognized as “Top 10 to Watch” by Biz Journal’s Pacific Business News. In 2012, she was recognized as a “Top 20 to Watch” by Hawaii Business magazine. Sherry earned a certificate in Expanding Impact in Advocacy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education. She holds a BA from UCLA and JD/MBA from the University of Hawaii.

Now Available: the 2016 Hawai‘i Directory of Public Officials

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