Maenette K. P. Ah Nee-Benham began serving as University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu chancellor on January 1, 2017. A kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar and teacher, Benham previously served as the inaugural dean of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Mānoa.
A Kamehameha Schools graduate, Benham began her teaching career in 1978 teaching grades K–12 in California, Texas and Hawaiʻi (Kaiser High School and Kamehameha Schools). She earned her doctoral degree from UH Mānoa in 1992 and joined the College of Education faculty at Michigan State University in 1993. Among her notable accomplishments, Benham was the lead author of the White House Paper on the Tribal Colleges and Universities a Trust Responsibility (2004) submitted to the U.S. President’s Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities.
Benham’s work on alternative frames of leadership and issues of education is nationally and internationally respected. She has been an invited speaker and presenter in Europe and South East Asia and the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. She covers a range of topics from program planning and assessment/evaluation, school change, leadership development, building school-community partnerships and professional ethics.
Benham is dedicated to community service, working extensively with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on youth, education, and community collective leadership initiatives. She serves on community boards that include the Waiʻanae Community Redevelopment Corp./MAʻO, the Mānoa Heritage and Kūaliʻi Foundation, The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, the Queen’s Health Systems and Queen’s Medical Center, the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, Awaiaulu and the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation.