Office of Hawaiian Affairs Fills Four Key Executive Positions


The Office of Hawaiian Affairs today announced the recent appointments of four leaders who will serve as directors on its executive leadership team.

Each of the new directors – two who are new to the organization and two who are being promoted from within – bring experience and expertise in their respective fields along with a shared dedication to the mission of bettering the lives of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

Filling key employee vacancies has been a priority set by OHA Ka Pouhana/CEO Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira.

“These appointments increase the capacity of our agency to achieve our strategic goals in alignment with our Mana i Mauli Ola Strategic Plan,” Ferreira said. “These four talented professionals are leaders with a proven record of success and I am honored to stand beside them as we continue to grow our OHA ‘ohana and increase the capability of our organization.”

“We are very pleased to see these critical staff positions being filled with such outstanding professionals who have dedicated their careers to serving our lāhui. This is a testament to the efficiency that our new CEO has brought to our organization, and it is a reaffirmation that OHA is moving forward in the right direction,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey.

The new executives include:

Photo: Kūʻikeokalani Kamakea-ʻŌhelo
Kūʻikeokalani Kamakea-ʻŌhelo, director of Ōiwi Wellbeing and ʻĀina Momona. – Courtesy Photo

Director of ʻŌiwi Wellbeing and ʻĀina Momona Kūʻikeokalani “Kū’ike” Kamakea-ʻŌhelo who will be responsible for supporting the planning and execution of OHA’s wellbeing efforts. He will advance policies, programs and practices that reinforce Hawaiian wellbeing by strengthening ʻŌiwi (cultural Identity), Ea (self-governance), ʻĀina Momona (healthy lands and people), Pilina (relationships), Waiwai (shared wealth), and Ke Akua Mana (spirituality).

Kamakea-ʻŌhelo most recently served as a research specialist for the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. His work focused on Indigenous food systems, traditional knowledge and sustainable agricultural practices. He is a former project manager for Partners in Development, a current member of the State of Hawaiʻi Land Use Commission and president of the Board of Directors for Cho Global Natural Farming Hawaiʻi.

Photo: Corey Nakamoto
Corey Nakamoto, director of Human Resources. – Photo: Jason Lees

Director of Human Resources Corey Nakamoto will be responsible for managing OHA’s recruitment efforts, workforce development, and retention of its high-performing workforce. He will also be responsible for the development and maintenance of systems and solutions that address organizational workforce issues and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Nakamoto has 27 years of human resource experience and most recently served as a personnel specialist with the state Department of Education’s Office of Talent Management, Investigations Section. He is a former lead investigator for the University of Hawaiʻi Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office, and he has worked for other Native Hawaiian serving organizations such as Kamehameha Schools and the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.

Photo: Carla Hostetter
Carla Hostetter, director of Research and Evaluation. – Courtesy Photo

Director of Research and Evaluation Division Carla Hostetter will be responsible for overseeing research and evaluation activities relating primarily to OHA’s strategic plan focus areas of Hawaiian educational pathways, health outcomes, quality housing and economic stability. She will also lead the agency’s research and data sharing collaborations to better understand the conditions and wellbeing of Hawaiian communities and to inform data-driven policy decisions.

Hostetter has served the Hawaiian community for over 20 years through research, evaluation, and strategy work. Since 2020, she had served OHA as the director of the Office of Strategy Management. She is also a former manager and analyst within OHA’s Research Division and a former director of Research and Evaluation for Keiki O Ka ʻĀina Family Learning Centers.

Photo: Ryan H. Lee
Ryan H. Lee, director of Endowment. – Photo: Jason Lees

Director of Endowment Ryan H. Lee will function as the chief investment officer. Lee will be responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating investment related policies and strategies for OHA’s Native Hawaiian Trust Fund (NHTF). He will work closely with other chief executives at OHA to facilitate resources, as needed, to implement the Board of Trustees’ statutory and fiduciary duties regarding the NHTF.

Lee brings over two decades of experience as a finance and investment professional. Prior to his selection, he served OHA as treasury director and interim investment manager. He is a former investment director with Kamehameha Schools, where he was instrumental in shaping the institution’s investment program. His contributions ranged from designing investment policies to developing strategic asset allocation targets, executing global multi-asset class investment strategies, and conducting due diligence on institutional investment managers for the organization’s global diversified portfolio.

OHA continues to hire qualified candidates to support its mission to improve the wellbeing of Native Hawaiians. To view job vacancies, visit