OHA Appoints Interim CEO

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The OHA Board appointed OHA Chief Operating Officer Sylvia Hussey, Ed.D., as the agency’s interim chief executive officer until a new CEO is hired, a June 20, 2019, OHA press release announced.

Dr. Hussey will begin as interim CEO July 1, following the expiration of the contract for current OHA CEO Kamanaʻopono Crabbe. The board has already authorized the procurement of a professional consultant to assist in an executive search and recruitment of a new CEO.

“I thank my fellow board members for coming together to timely appoint an interim CEO to ensure that our services to our community continue uninterrupted as we search for a new CEO,” said OHA Chair Colette Machado. “OHA is in the middle of a critical period as we look to improve how we serve our beneficiaries. We have initiated a number of substantial changes to the agency, including the development of a new Strategic Plan and a series of new internal governance and financial policies. Sylvia has played a key role in these projects and her familiarity with the agency’s operations will help provide a smooth transition between CEOs.”

Dr. Hussey was hired as OHA’s chief operating officer (COO) in November 2018. She came to the agency with more than 30 years of experience in education administration, policy development and implementation, finance, operations, and information technology. She served in leadership positions at various institutions throughout the state, most recently as the executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council and previously was with Kamehameha Schools for more than a decade where she was the vice president of administration.


An internal transition plan will be implemented to re-assign administrative responsibilities, including COO duties, to other staff to assist with operations until the Board appoints a new CEO.

About the Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Established by the state Constitutional Convention in 1978, OHA is a semi-autonomous state agency mandated to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians. Guided by a board of nine publicly elected trustees, OHA fulfills its mandate through advocacy, research, community engagement, land management and the funding of community programs. Learn more at



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