OHA CEO Ferreira Selected to Upcoming Cohort of Omidyar Fellows


Five other Native Hawaiian leaders also named to the prestigious fellowship

“‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi;
All knowledge is not taught in the same school.”

There’ll be a very familiar face onboard when the next cohort of Omidyar Fellows begins its work in September 2024.

Photo: Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira
OHA CEO Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira. – Courtesy Photo

The Hawaiʻi Leadership Forum, which is a part of the Omidyar Group, recently announced that Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Ka Pouhana/CEO Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira has been selected to join 15 other leaders and change makers as members of Cohort IX of Omidyar Fellows.

Ferreira has served as OHA’s chief executive since November 2023. She is a former budget chief for the Hawaiʻi State Senate and a former executive for Kamehameha Schools and the Charles Reed Bishop Trust.

The Omidyar Fellows program seeks to cultivate the conditions in which Hawaiʻi thrives by enhancing connections among leaders and improving their desire and capabilities to mobilize communities and organizations who can create these broad and durable improvements.

Members of the cohort – comprised of leaders from the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors – were selected through a rigorous application and selection process based on their accomplishments, innovative skills, ability to collaborate with other leaders, and motivation to make a positive difference.

Cohort IX members will undergo nine months of curriculum which will include monthly sessions; coaching; and conversations with community, business, and government leaders. At the end of the curriculum phase, Cohort IX will join the active Fellows Network comprised of 115 Fellows from Cohorts I through VIII who are dedicated to strengthening the wellbeing of Hawaiʻi.

Photo: Kainoa Casco
Kainoa Casco
Photo: Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni
Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni
Photo: Kauila Kopper
Kauila Kopper
Photo: Kaulana Mossman
Kaulana Mossman
Photo: Landon Opunui
Landon Opunui

Other Native Hawaiian members of Cohort IX include Shawn Kanaʻiaupuni, Ph.D, president and CEO of Partners in Development; Dr. Landon Opunui, executive director and medical director of Nā Puʻuwai Native Hawaiian Health Care System on Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi; Kainoa Casco, a climate + resiliency executive for Johnson Controls Sustainable Infrastructure in Hawaiʻi; David Kauila Kopper, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi; and Kaulana Mossman, the community planning liaison officer for the Pacific Missile Range Facility.

“As the chief executive officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs I am continuously pushing myself to be the best leader, kaiāulu contributor, change maker and Kanaka, that I can be. This opportunity and the timing of it is perfect as it will further hone and develop my leadership skills by participating in this incredible fellowship. I am humbled and thankful to Omidyar Fellows to be selected to this cohort and for the chance to learn from the program, the Forum of Fellows, and my fellow Cohort IX members who are extraordinary leaders in their fields,” Ferreira said.

“The needs of our lāhui demand exceptional leaders and I am proud to join the other Native Hawaiians in our group. I’m looking forward to examining leadership from a variety of diverse perspectives, and I can’t wait to get started as we all strive for a positive collective impact on this state.”

“With all humility, I’m inspired by the people who have come through this program,” Kanaʻiaupuni said. “They are strong leaders in our community – people like Diane Paloma, Micah Kāne, and so many others. Their testimony, and more so, their hana, speak volumes about the positive impact of the Omidyar Fellows program.

“My focus is on our youth, on our lands, and on the wellbeing of our communities. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m honored to be part of Cohort IX and look to contribute to the best of my ability.”

“The Omidyar Fellows program offers a unique opportunity to build resilience, enhance collaboration, and refine strategic thinking, while gaining valuable insights from other leaders and building reliable support networks,” Opunui said.

“Our Kānaka leaders entrusted with the kūleana of this learning opportunity will become better equipped to address the many complex challenges facing our lāhui. Expanding our networks with leaders from diverse backgrounds and fields will better position us to collectively drive positive change across Hawaiʻi and beyond.”

Bill Coy has directed every Omidyar Fellows cohort since 2012. At the conclusion of Cohort IX in June 2025, Coy will step down from his role. Cheryl Ka‘uhane Lupenui, president and CEO of the Kohala Center, will co-facilitate Cohort IX and will lead the next cohort.

“I am so proud of what the Omidyar Fellows has accomplished,” Coy said. “We see leadership as an activity, not a role, and I am confident that each Fellow will continue to utilize their strong networks and skillsets to create a stronger Hawaiʻi. These are some of the finest leaders I have had the privilege to work with.”