Jessica Worchel ~ Board Chair
Jessica Worchel currently serves as the Nā Hopena Aʻa Special Projects Manager in the Office of Hawaiian Education. Previously, she worked as the Chief of Staff to the Superintendent for Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) where she provided critical, high level support to the Superintendent and HIDOE leadership in order to advance the Department’s top priorities. The majority of her career has been in the non-profit sector focusing on youth development, youth leadership, and organizational development from a social justice lens. She’s also had the privilege to develop and lead international education programs for high school and college students in Europe and Africa. She was also a participant at the Morocco World Youth Congress (2003) and Scotland Planning Congress (2004). She holds a master’s degree from American University in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and a bachelor’s degree in cross-cultural communications from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Susie Chun Oakland ~
Suzanne Chun Oakland is a proud graduate of McKinley High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, double majoring in Communications and Psychology. She has served in the Hawaii State Legislature for 26 years, 6 years in the State House of Representatives and 20 years in the State Senate. She currently serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Human Services, which focuses on child welfare, adult protection, long term care,
Medicaid, SNAP (formerly Food Stamp program), other public assistance programs, vocational rehabilitation, and early childhood programs. She also is a member of the Ways and Means, Transportation and Energy, and Education Committees. She is co-founder and co-convener of the Hawaii State Legislature's Keiki and Kupuna Caucuses, member of the Women's Legislative Caucus, Small Business Caucus, and other legislative caucuses. She also facilitates close to a hundred task forces, working groups, advisory committees, and community projects. She serves on numerous community organizations such as the Blueprint for Change, Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center, Kalihi-Palama Culture and Arts Society, Kukui Children's Foundation, the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund, and Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii.
Shawn Kana'aiaupuni, Vice Chair/Secretary ~ Shawn Kana‘iaupuni is director of the Public Education Support Division at Kamehameha Schools. Dr. Kanaʻiaupuni’s work has focused on understanding ways to collectively build greater successes for Native Hawaiian children in public schools, the role of place in identity processes, and the impact of Hawaiian culture-based education on student outcomes. Most recently, she played a key role in leading the strategic planning of the Kamehameha Schools and its resulting 25-year Vision 2040. She is trained in demography and family sociology, serving as faculty of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her research focused on maternal and child health. She has served on the Race and Ethnic Advisory Committee of the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Indian Education Association, the Native Hawaiian Education Council, the O‘ahu Workforce Investment Board, and as editor of Hūlili, a multidisciplinary journal on Native Hawaiian wellbeing. A Kamehameha Schools alumna, Kanaʻiaupuni earned her B.A. in public affairs and psychology from the University of Denver, her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and her M.B.A. from the University of Hawai‘i- Mānoa.
Alexander Woollcombe ~ Alexander Woollcombe is the Senior Program Officer and leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Campaigns and the European Union External Relations efforts in London, United Kingdom. He was previously the UK and EU Director at the ONE campaign, an advocacy organization founded by Bono and Bob Geldof that fights extreme poverty in Africa. Zander has also worked for Oxfam in Ethiopia and Senegal on policy and communications. Prior to that, Zander worked for the EU and Peace Child International in West Africa, Brussels, India and South America. Zander holds an MA degree in History from the University of Edinburgh.
Jacob Bryan Aki ~ Treasurer ~ Jacob Bryan Kaʻomakaokalā Aki is a graduate of the Kamehameha School-Kapālama Campus. He is a current junior at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he is taking up studies in Hawaiian Studies and Language. Jacob is a past scholar in the Semester in Washington-Native American Political Leadership Program at The George Washington University where he took up classes in Political Management. He is a former Federal Policy Intern with Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Washington DC Bureau.