Reelitz Named OHA Director of Advocacy

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Photo: Keʻōpū Reelitz
OHA’s new Director of Advocacy Keʻōpū Reelitz – Photo: Jason Lees

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) recently named Keʻōpū Reelitz as the agency’s new director of Advocacy (chief advocate). She began her new role on December 1.

Reelitz will lead OHA’s Advocacy Division and oversee mission aligned public policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as OHA’s current co-trustee role with the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. She will also be responsible for working with OHA’s director of Community Engagement and OHA’s Washington, D.C., bureau chief on related public policy matters.

Reelitz previously served OHA as a governance specialist from 2014 to 2015.

“I’m honored and humbled to return to OHA to help lead advocacy efforts. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and advocate for the lāhui and I look forward to moving the needle – alongside our communities across the pae ʻāina – on policies that will help us Kānaka Maoli to not only be able to stay here in the state but, more importantly, to thrive and lead here in our homeland.”

Reelitz comes to OHA from the Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network where she served as director of Early Learning and Health Policy. She is a former communications lead with the State of Hawaiʻi Executive Office on Early Learning and has also served as a public information officer for the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services and as editor of MANA Magazine.

A graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Reelitz holds a juris doctorate from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science from Loyola University Chicago.

“Keʻōpū’s vast experience in policy and advocacy work and her background in the communications and legal arenas will serve OHA well as we head into the upcoming legislative session,” said OHA Ka Pouhana/CEO Stacy Kealohalani Ferreira. “We are excited to welcome such an outstanding young ʻŌiwi leader to our team as we move forward with our mission of improving the wellbeing of Native Hawaiians.”