CIPA Team

Kristi Govella is the inaugural Director of the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs and an Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She specializes in the intersection of economics and security in international relations, with a particular focus on the Indo-Pacific. Her research has examined topics such as economic statecraft, trade, investment, government-business relations, regional institutional architecture, military alliances, and the governance of the maritime, outer space, and cyber domains. She also serves as an Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center and Pacific Forum and as Editor of the journal Asia Policy. Dr. Govella was previously Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia Program at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, and an Associate Professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jacob Aki is the Communications and Outreach Manager at the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs. Jacob spent nearly a decade as a senior legislative staffer in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. In his most recent role as the Director of Communications, he served as the chamber’s chief spokesperson and led a team tasked with developing and implementing communication strategies, managing media relations, and effectively communicating legislative initiatives and policy issues to the broader community. He is from Kapālama, Oʻahu. He holds an M.A. in Political Management from George Washington University and a B.A. in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Hannah Butler is a graduate assistant at the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs and an M.A. student in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research focuses on the regions of East and Southeast Asia and the Arctic with an emphasis on international governance, economic interdependence, and conflict deterrence. She was previously an Ellings-Korduba Research Fellow Finalist at the National Bureau of Asian Research, examining Sino-Russian collaboration in the Arctic theater. She also received a Boren Scholarship to study Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. She holds a B.A. in History and International Affairs from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Amber Hall is a graduate assistant at the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs and an M.A. student in the Department of Asian Studies. Their research interests include the roles that modern media in the United States and Japan have in influencing preconceptions of one another. They previously studied at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. They hold a B.A. in Global Communication from Utah State University with minors in Japanese and Marketing.

Please direct all questions related to the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs to cipa@hawaii.edu.