Gov. Josh Green announced on May 31, the selections of former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Lauren Akitake and current member Alapaki Nahale-a to the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) for five-year terms starting on July 1. The state Senate must still confirm the appointments.
Abercrombie has a long public service career in the islands that started at UH Mānoa, where he earned a master’s degree in sociology and a PhD in American studies. He has served in the state Legislature and Honolulu City Council. He represented Hawaiʻi in Congress from 1990 to 2010 before serving as governor.
Akitake is a private practice attorney and per diem district court judge who taught business law at UH Maui College. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law and obtained a master of science degree in applied social research from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She also earned a bachelor of arts degree in public policy analysis/politics from Pomona College in California. Akitake graduated from Baldwin High School in 1999 as a valedictorian.
Nahale-a is currently the BOR vice chair, finishing his first term as a regent. He is the CEO of the Global Resiliency Hub at ʻIole in Kohala on Hawaiʻi Island. Nahale-a has spent more than 30 years serving the community in various roles such as director and chair of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, various roles at Kamehameha Schools, including senior director of community engagement and resources for Hawaiʻi Island, and more. Born and raised in Hilo, Nahale-a is a 1986 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Board of Regents is the governing body of UH’s 10 campuses and programs. The board consists of 11 volunteer members. Representation includes five from the City and County of Honolulu; two from Hawaiʻi County; two from Maui County; one from Kauaʻi County; and one UH student.
Abercrombie will fill the seat of current Chair Randy Moore (Honolulu), who is finishing his final term. Akitake will replace Eugene Bal III (Maui), whose term ends in June.
Board members are nominated by the UH Candidate Advisory Council and sent to the governor for his selection.