Maui News

OHA Begins Search for New CEO

October 5, 2011, 6:23 PM HST
* Updated October 5, 9:06 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Clyde Nāmu‘o, OHA chief executive officer. File photo by Wendy Osher.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs begins the search for a new chief executive officer as the department prepares for the departure of Clyde Nāmuʻo on December 30, 2011.

Nāmuʻo’s contract expires on July 31, 2012, but he has decided on an early departure, targeted for early 2012.

In preparation for the change, OHA trustees this morning approved a process to initiate a search for a new CEO, which is anticipated to unfold over the course of the next three to five months.

OHA Trustee Chairperson Colette Machado said, “We are very grateful to Mr. Nāmuʻo for providing professional, decisive and inspirational leadership for OHA, throughout a 10-year period of steady and remarkable growth. In serving our beneficiaries, Mr. Nāmuʻo has always exhibited the best qualities of public service – unwavering commitment, compassion, trustworthiness, loyalty and professionalism,” she said.


Machado said Nāmuʻo stepped into his role as administrator on 2001 when OHA was on shaky ground.  “He walked into an office that our Native Hawaiian beneficiaries looked upon with suspicion, skepticism and mistrust. Mr. Nāmuʻo was largely responsible for changing this around,” she said.


During his administration, Nāmuʻo’s helped OHA to clarify its internal fiscal and personnel operations. The agency has fulfilled the goals of one strategic plan period and has adopted a strategic plan for the next five years.

OHA also initiated the Kau Inoa enrollment process, which now has over 110,000 Hawaiians registered.  The agency also worked to defended Native Hawaiian rights and entitlements from legal challenges in both state and federal courts.

“The past 10 years has been a time of significant change for OHA as indicated in part, for example, by the increase of the operating budget from $12 million to over $30 million a year,” said Nāmuʻo.  “After all we have achieved, it is time for me to step down and pursue other endeavors and interests,” he said.


The Asset Resource Management Committee will be responsible for carrying out the recruitment process for the new CEO.  The committee will submit its recommendations for approval to the full board, which will make the final decision. The board will also be tasked with appointing an interim CEO by the end of the year.

*** Supporting information courtesy Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

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