Maui News

Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie among interim appointees to the UH Board of Regents

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Former Governor Neil Abercrombie (left), Attorney Lauren Akitake (middle), and Global Resiliency Hub CEO Alapaki Nahale-a (right) will fill seats for the term beginning July 1, 2023 for five-year appointments, subject to confirmation by the Hawai‘i State Senate.

Governor Josh Green, M.D. has named three interim appointees for the University of Hawai‘i System Board of Regents from a list of finalists presented to him from the Candidate Advisory Council.

Former Governor Neil Abercrombie, Attorney Lauren Akitake, and Global Resiliency Hub CEO Alapaki Nahale-a will fill seats for the term beginning July 1, 2023 for five-year appointments, subject to confirmation by the Hawaiʻi State Senate.

Former Governor Neil Abercrombie has had a long and varied public service career spanning five decades. He served as the seventh Governor of Hawaiʻi from 2010 to 2014.

Prior to becoming governor, he served in the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979 before being elected to the Hawaiʻi Senate. Abercrombie won a seat in Congress in a special election to complete the term of a resigning member of the US House of Representatives in 1986.


He served on the Honolulu City Council from 1988 to 1990 before returning to Congress to serve 10 consecutive terms from 1990 through 2010. During his years in Congress, he was especially committed to the protection of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands – Papahānaumokuākea, and he co-authored landmark legislation to build, manage, and maintain housing for military families.

He is an author and holds an M.A. in Sociology and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi.

Born and raised on Maui, Lauren Akitake is a private practice attorney and per diem District Court Judge who taught business law at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

Akitake has more than 15 years of experience in diverse areas of law including estate planning, probate and trust litigation, estate and trust administration, civil litigation, business law, collection law, and representing clients in conservatorship and guardianship proceedings.


Prior to starting her law office six years ago, she practiced in state and federal courts for law firms on Oʻahu and Maui.

She earned her juris doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law and obtained a Master of Science degree in applied social research from the University of Stirling, Scotland, while on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public policy analysis/politics from Pomona College in California. She graduated in 1999 as a valedictorian from Baldwin High School.

Alapaki Nahale-a is the CEO of the Global Resiliency Hub at ʻIole in Kohala, Hawaiʻi. ʻIole honors the 2,408-acre historic ahupuaʻa being managed by Global Resiliency where it is modeling how regenerative governance can create a world that is not only sustainable, but regenerative, leading to abundance for people and the environment.

Nahale-a has spent more than 30 years serving the community in various roles including director and chair of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, various roles at Kamehameha Schools, including senior director of community engagement and resources for Hawaiʻi Island, and more. Nahale-a has also served on a variety of community boards and commissions.


Born and raised in Hilo, Nahale-a is a 1986 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

The three interim appointees will fill one Honolulu County seat, one Maui County seat, and one Hawai‘i County seat, respectively.

The Board of Regents is the governing body of UH and consists of 11 non-compensated volunteer members. Representation includes five from the City and County of Honolulu; two from Hawaiʻi County; two from Maui County; one from Kauaʻi County; and one UH student.

Board members are nominated by the CAC, appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the State Senate. 

Members of the UH Candidate Advisory Council include:

  • Brigitte Yoshino, chair
  • Lance Wilhelm, vice Chair
  • Blair Odo, secretary
  • Amy Agbayani, member
  • Amy Hennessey, member
  • Brandon Marc Higa, member
  • Dale Nishikawa, member

Members of the CAC serve voluntarily and are not paid.


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