The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents has elected a new slate of officers for one year terms effective July 18, 2013. Serving as chair will be Regent John C. Holzman, and serving as vice-chairs are Regents James Lee and Saedene Ota. Regent John Dean made the nominations and all were confirmed unanimously by the 15 members of the Board of Regents. Holzman succeeds outgoing chair Eric Martinson. Lee will continue to serve as vice chair, and Ota replaces Carl Carlson.
Holzman, who has been serving as chair of the Presidential Selection Committee, is a retired diplomat with extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. He served as charge d’affaires in Pakistan, ambassador to Bangladesh and foreign policy advisor at U.S. Pacific Command and at U.S. Central Command. Holzman led the team in Baghdad in 2004 that created the American Embassy from the Coalition Provisional Authority. He is a former American Political Science Association congressional fellow and distinguished visiting scholar at the National Defense University. A graduate of Kalani High School, he holds a BA from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
New Vice Chair Ota owns and operates Sae Design, a graphics firm based on Maui that focuses on strategic marketing and communication graphics. Ota is also the owner of Maui Thing, a lifestyle apparel retail company located in Wailuku, Maui. Besides supervising overall operations of the company, Ota oversees brand messaging and creative, social marketing and community events. She studied at UH Mānoa, University of Washington and California State–Northridge while a UH Mānoa exchange student, and received her bachelor of fine arts with honors at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.
Returning Vice Chair Lee is a partner in the Honolulu law firm of Devens, Nakano, Saito, Lee, Wong and Ching. Lee also has experience in the restaurant industry, having served as managing director of Let’s Eat Hawaiʻi; owner and operator of Sam Choy’s Restaurants in Hawaiʻi, Japan and Guam; and managing director of the K. B. Lee Corp., a real estate development company and owner and operator of the Hee Hing Restaurant. Lee graduated from ʻIolani School in 1974. He received his BBA in accounting from UH Mānoa in 1978 and JD from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1981. He is a licensed certified public accountant as well as a licensed attorney.