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Chief Executive Officer

Ka‘iulani Laehā is the Chief Executive Officer of the ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, a Native Hawaiian nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the Hawaiian language. Ka‘iulani joined the organization in 2018, assuming a newly-created executive leadership role to help guide the organization’s strategic growth.

Building on the ʻAha Pūnana Leo’s 35 years of work to reestablish a 100% Hawaiian language medium education, Ka‘iulani is leading the organization to sustain and expand its foundational program, the Pūnana Leo preschools, and create innovative platforms to further normalize ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in our daily lives.

Kaʻiulani’s new role builds on her previous experience in senior non-profit management as well as her diverse background in youth programming and fund development. Her professional qualifications stem from field experience as a peer leader in youth education programs and eventually led her into managing the Pacific Links Hawaiʻi Foundation as an Executive Director. Just prior to joining ʻAha Pūnana Leo, Kaʻiulani served as the Development Manager for Kupu, one of Honolulu’s most distinguished nonprofits that mentors Hawai‘i’s youth to become good stewards of our culture and environment. In all of her professional roles, Kaʻiulani has held a sincere dedication to preparing younger generations for a productive and fulfilling life in Hawaiʻi and beyond.

Ka‘iulani was born and raised in Kuliʻouʻou and later moved to Kahaluʻu, where she and her husband are now raising their keiki. She is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Kaʻiulani was fortunate to grow up at a time where ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi was once again being used and heard in pockets of Hawaiʻi, greatly attributed to the efforts of the ʻAha Pūnana Leo’s founders and pioneers of the Hawaiian language movement. Her aloha for ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi along with the desire to learn was piqued at a very young age and she began her path to fluency in her early teens. Kaʻiulani was drawn by the continued relevance of our language and is now engaged in ensuring the legacy of our ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, the core of what makes Hawaiʻi special to us all.