lee and tochiki headshots
UH Board of Regents Gabriel Lee and Laurie Tochiki

Editor’s note: The Hawaiʻi State Senate confirmed Lee and Tochiki as regents on May 5 during the floor session.

Gov. David Ige has appointed bank vice president Gabriel Lee and non-profit administrator Laurie Tochiki to the University of Hawaiʻi System’s Board of Regents (BOR). The appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

Lee is currently the executive vice president of commercial markets at American Savings Bank. He was previously the vice president and commercial banking officer at First Hawaiian Bank, and vice president and pacific marketing director at Bank of Hawaiʻi. Lee attended graduate school at Dartmouth College, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UH Mānoa and is a graduate of St. Louis School.

If confirmed by the state Senate, Lee will fill the seat currently held by Benjamin Kudo starting July 1. The five-year term expires on June 30, 2027.

Tochiki is the executive director of the non-profit EPIC ʻOhana—which aims to strengthen Hawaiʻi’s families and enhance the welfare of children and youth. She has also worked in various capacities at the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa. Tochiki was lecturer 2012–14 and 2019, the director of child welfare projects 2005–12, associate dean for student services from 1999 to 2011, and adjunct and assistant professor. She has also served as a law clerk, and coordinator of Kids First with the Family Court of the First Circuit, a research analyst with the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary, and instructor at Kapiʻolani Community College.

Tochiki has a PhD in education policy from the University of Hawaiʻi’s College of Education, a master of science in administration from Central Michigan University Campus, a juris doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law, and a BA from Whitman College in Washington. She is a graduate of Waipahu High School.

If Tochiki is confirmed by the state Senate she takes the City & County of Honolulu seat now held by Simeon Acoba. Her five-year term starts on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2027.

The BOR is composed of 11 volunteer regents who formulate policy and have exclusive jurisdiction over the internal structure, management and operation of the university. Board members are nominated by the Regents Candidate Advisory Council, appointed by the governor and confirmed the state Senate.