Kapolei, HI –The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement announced Joe Kūhiō Lewis has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective June 1, 2018.  At a special meeting of the CNHA board held on May 11, 2018, by unanimous decision, Lewis was approved to succeed Michelle Kauhane who has served as President & CEO since February 2013.

Lewis currently serves as the Community Outreach and Engagement Manager at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, responsible for advancing the organization’s civic engagement initiatives with oversight of a $2.3 million program budget and 21 staff statewide.

Lewis is a beneficiary of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and past President of the Kapolei Community Development Corporation (KCDC) where he helped raise over $2 million to support a regional community development project – the Kapolei Heritage Center.  During his tenure, KCDC also brokered one of the largest community benefit agreements totaling over $30 million.

“This is an exciting time for CNHA,” shared Michelle Kauhane. “Kūhiō understands well the top issues in Hawaiian community and is a recognized next generation leader in Hawaiʻi.  He brings with him a vast network of organizations to grow and strengthen CNHA’s membership coalition. I look forward to the next phase of CNHA’s growth under Kūhiō’s leadership.”

Hanalei Aipoalani, CNHA Board Chairman added, “It’s a new day.  A bright new beginning for CNHA, its members, and coalition partners to build upon common ground to advance Native Hawaiians.”

Lewis was identified through an executive search that resulted in a pool of 38 candidates. His experience in community organizing, fund development and policy advocacy made him a natural fit.  Lewis has been an up and coming leader in the Hawaiian community since his run for office as an Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Trustee.   The experience launched his public service career and visibility in the public eye as a committed young leader.

“I am excited at the opportunity to serve our Hawaiian community through self-sufficiency efforts, capacity-building, partnerships, and policy advocacy. I look forward to building on the achievements of the organization and working to strengthen our resolve and finding common ground on issues and initiatives important to our community,” said Lewis.

CNHA is planning to formally acknowledge the transfer of leadership from Kauhane to Lewis at its 17th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention scheduled from October 8-10, 2018.  All are invited to join CNHA in welcoming Lewis as the organization’s new CEO.

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing access to capital and technical resources and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities.  Its mission is to enhance the cultural, economic, political and community development of Native Hawaiians.  For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll free at 1.800.709.2642, by email at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or at www.hawaiiancouncil.org