President and Chief Executive Officer


The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based organization for research, conservation, and education. Founded in the year 2000 and based in Waimea on Hawaiʻi Island, The Center turns research and ancestral knowledge into action, so that communities in Hawai‘i and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially. We believe that by addressing our islands’ environmental and social challenges, Hawaiʻi can be a model of and for the world. We understand that in order to improve the health of our people, we need high-quality information on which to base decisions and actions going forward about our food, our water, and our ‘āina.

The Center conducts applied research, policy research, conservation and restoration initiatives, public outreach and education in the core areas of food self-reliance, energy self-reliance, and ecosystem health—all carried out through local, regional, national and international partnerships. The Center also has a commitment to supporting K-12 public education and post-secondary to post-doctoral programs with a focus on intergenerational knowledge transmission that prepares young people for responsible, transformative leadership in an island context.

The Kohala Center has an annual budget of $3,500,000, a Board of nine civic leaders, a paid staff of 30, and hundreds of volunteers. The Center owns over 100 acres of land in two locations on Hawaiʻi Island, one of which is being developed as a campus and meeting place. While some of our programs are focused on serving communities of Hawaiʻi Island exclusively, others operate statewide.

The Center seeks a President & Chief Executive Officer to head the organization in the next phase of its development. Responsibilities include: leading and representing The Center in all forums, overseeing organizational development, championing and inspiring fundraising efforts and developing new funding sources, overseeing budgets, direct supervision of senior staff, and developing and maintaining university, government, foundation, community, and public relations.

PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION. Candidates are expected to have a track record of progressive accomplishment in organizational management in a non-profit, education, or research environment and will have earned an advanced degree. Salary is commensurate with experience. We anticipate that the position will be filled by March 2017. To apply applicants should submit a cover letter and resume or CV to Cortney Okumura, Director of Human Resources at