Kohala Institute names Crabbe CEO

  • Dr. Kamana’opono M. Crabbe

KOHALA –The Kohala Institute at Iole (KII) of Kohala, announced Dr. Kamana’opono M. Crabbe has been selected as CEO, effective Oct. 28.

The board of directors approved unanimously Crabbe as the organization’s first CEO tasked to lead KII on a new path to better serve the community at large, provide a deeper sense of authentic cultural experience, and strive towards greater sustainability for Hawaii.


“This is an exciting time for Kohala Institute,” said Thuy Fujimoto, co-founder of KII. “Kamana’o understands the sacredness and reverence for the land and culture and is a recognized next generation leader in Hawaii. He brings with him a vast network of organizations and community experience to strengthen our future. I look forward to the next phase of our growth under Dr. Crabbe’s leadership.”

The selection of Crabbe caps a three-month search process facilitated by Duane Kurisu, chairman of the Hawaii Executive Collaborative, a professional forum for Hawaii’s top executives, thought leaders and decision makers from Hawaii, Asia and the mainland U.S.

Crabbe served as the previous Ka Pouhana-CEO for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) for seven in half years from 2012 to June 2019 where he was responsible for improving the health, wellbeing, and conditions for Native Hawaiians statewide. Prior to his tenure as Ka Pouhana-CEO, he was the Research Director from 2010-2012 charged with providing baseline data and research to achieve the results and outcomes of the organization’s strategic plan 2010-2018.

“I’m honored and very grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of dedicated, innovative and talented professionals,” Crabbe said.


Crabbe, 55, holds a Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he also received his bachelor’s degree. He completed a pre-doctoral internship as well as post-doctoral fellowship in Behavioral Medicine-Health Psychology at the nationally accredited Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.

Kohala Institute at Iole stewards 2,400 acres from mauka to makai in North Kohala on the Island of Hawaii that includes the historic, intact ahupuaa, Iole. Initiatives focus on sustainability, education, agriculture, and culture and the arts.

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