HONOLULU (April 22, 2015) – The Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) has appointed Jeanne Schultz Afuvai as president and CEO. She is responsible for moving HIPA forward as the premier public policy firm in the state and for overseeing all projects and fundraising.
“Jeanne has unparalleled experience in collaborating with all levels of government and working in the business sector. She has an unrelenting passion for making Hawaii a better place and has been continually involved in the community,” said Lauren Nahme, HIPA board member. “Under her dedicated leadership, HIPA will seek innovative ways to inform the policy-making process with stakeholder perspective, credible data and information, and transparent processes.”
With over three decades in public policy, research, advocacy, economic development and community affairs, Schultz Afuvai has led a number of HIPA’s projects since joining the firm in 2006.
“It is an honor to carry on the work that has begun,” said Schultz Afuvai. “HIPA was founded on the principle that knowledge and data are essential to sound decision-making for public benefit. I am committed to ensuring that HIPA continues to examine the issues that matter most for Hawaii and serves as a catalyst of new knowledge, new ideas and new opportunities for residents to thrive. I strongly believe that HIPA must commit to being an objective, non-partisan entity in all aspects of developing public policy. We will actively seek ways to collaborate and form partnerships with like-minded organizations.”
Schultz Afuvai was previously HIPA’s director of public policy and then executive vice president. She has worked on numerous HIPA public policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels, including the Report on the State of Physical Infrastructure in Hawaii: Phases I and II, the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan and The Economic Impact of the Military Report with the Rand Corporation, among others. She is currently focused on completing the Systemic Plan for the 21st Century Schools Initiative to enhance student learning by building and renovating facilities in Hawaii’s public schools in financially sustainable ways to meet 21st century learning goals.
“Improved facilities and learning environments are key to help Hawai’i’s children meet and exceed the highest national and international academic standards. Education is one of the most critical issues in our state,” said Schultz Afuvai.
Before joining HIPA, Schultz Afuvai was the executive director in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development for the City and County of Honolulu. She also served as the interim director and the deputy director of tourism for the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and as the deputy director for the Hawaii State Department of Transportation. Earlier in her career, she worked for various private companies and organizations including The Estate of James Campbell, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, and the Xerox Corporation.
Schultz Afuvai is active in the community and has served on numerous boards and committees for organizations such as the Military Affairs Council, Enterprise Honolulu, Aloha Festivals, the West Oahu Economic Development Association and the Citizens Advisory Committee – Honolulu, an Age-friendly City.
The Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) is Hawaii’s first independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to fact-based research, issues education and community collaboration. The institute’s goal is to improve the quality of life and business in Hawaii by improving public policy. By encouraging informed debate of the immediate and long-term issues facing Hawaii’s communities, the institute brings together scholars, policy-makers and the community. This collaborative approach of all major stakeholders creates a forum in which new knowledge, new ideas and new opportunities are created to solve Hawaii’s most important issues. For more information, visit hipaonline.com and follow HIPA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.