Claire L. Asam, PhD
Chair, Board of Trustees of Lili‘uokalani Trust
Claire L. Asam, PhD has long been a committed advocate for “Nā Pua o Hawai‘i Nei”, the children of Hawai‘i. Her professional career began at the Kamehameha Schools (KS) where she educated Native Hawaiian children. She remained at the schools for 25 years in teaching, research, and administrative positions including director of training and dissemination for the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program (KEEP) which helped teachers in Hawaiian communities improve their students’ literacy achievement. During her tenure she also contributed to efforts in extending the reach of Kamehameha’s educational systems through partnerships with the State Department of Education and the establishment of Kamehameha’s Maui and Hawai‘i campuses. Focused on working with Hawaiian children, Dr. Asam moved from Kamehameha Schools to become the president and executive director of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center (QLCC). Under her leadership QLCC impacted thousands of Hawaiians, orphans and impoverished children across the state annually by helping to strengthen families and build healthy communities. Then in 2007 Dr. Asam was named a trustee of the Lili‘uokalani Trust. In addition to her Trust responsibilities, she continues to volunteer her expertise in support of education and community boards including the HKL Castle Foundation Board of Directors, and the Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health Dean’s Advisory Council. Dr. Asam was named Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scout Council of Hawai‘i, received the I Ulu Ke Kumu award from the Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, and honored as a Distinguished Alumna by the University of Hawai‘i and the Kamehameha Schools for her dedication to Hawai‘i’s children.
Cathy Betts, Esq.
Director, State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services
Cathy Betts is the Director of the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services where she continues to further the department’s vision through her experience, advocacy, and commitment to helping the people of Hawai‘i thrive. She served as deputy director from 2017 through August 2020.
Prior to serving as deputy, she successfully lead the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women for nearly seven years and oversaw several legislative and policy successes including: the final passage of the Compassionate Care Act, which ensures rape victims have access to emergency contraception emergency rooms in Hawai‘i; various state Title IX reforms to ensure Hawaii continues to protect and preserve the late Congresswoman Patsy Mink’s legacy; protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; reforms for temporary restraining order process; and increased training on gender based violence. Betts has also practiced in government and private legal practice since 2006.
Betts earned her BA in Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles and her juris doctorate from the University of Hawai‘i, William S. Richardson School of Law, where she served as the Patsy T. Mink Legislative Fellow in the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s Washington D.C. office.
She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Hawai‘i Filipino Lawyers Association, and previously chaired the HSBA Diversity, Equality, and the Law Committee (DEAL). She also sits on the Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts.
Betts was recognized as one of four YWCA Women’s Leader Awardees in 2020. In February 2021, the Hawai‘i Women’s Legal Foundation presented Betts with the Rhoda Lewis Award in recognition of her extraordinary contribution and commitment to public service.
Senator (Ret.) Susie Chun Oakland
Program Coordinator, Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center
Senator (Ret.) Suzanne Chun Oakland has served her community with dedication throughout her life. She currently is the Program Coordinator for Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center. In her 26 years of service in the Hawai‘i State Legislature, she has been a leading advocate for children, the elderly, families and underserved communities. She served as Chair of the House and Senate Committees on Human Services for most of her career. She focused on child welfare, adult protection, long term care, Medicaid, affordable housing, public housing, vocational rehabilitation, public assistance, and early childhood education and care. She also served on the Committees on Agriculture, Health, Economic Development, Education, Government Operations and Housing, Energy and Environment, Hawaiian Affairs, Transportation, Water/Land, and Ways and Means. Senator Chun Oakland continues to be very active in the community. She was the co-founder and co-convener of the Keiki and the Kupuna Caucuses, co-convener of the Women’s Caucus, chair of numerous legislative task forces and working groups, and a member or officer of over 50 community organizations’ boards. She has provided invaluable support to human and social service organizations such as Blueprint for Change, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center, Susannah Wesley Community Center, the Pediatric Council of Hawai‘i, and the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund. The daughter of retired Executive Director of Kalihi YMCA Philip S. Chun and retired social worker Mei-Chih Chun, Senator Chun Oakland was born and raised in Honolulu, is an honor graduate of McKinley High School, and earned two BA degrees in Communications and Psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her sister, Jeanne Chun, works for the San Francisco Community Foundation and her brother, Randall Chun, is a graphic artist. Her husband of 23 years, Mike Oakland, is a Deputy Sheriff and Kapolei Courthouse Section Commander. She and Mike have three children – Mailene, Christopher, and Lauren. She also has six grandchildren.
Sheri Daniels, EdD, CSAC
Executive Director, Papa Ola Lōkahi
Sheri has been leading Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Board since 2016. Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL) is the organization charged by the United States Congress with administrative oversight of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act [Public Law 102-396]. In this role, she leads efforts to improve the overall health and well-being of Native Hawaiians and their families, through strategic partnerships, programs and public policy.
Born, raised, and currently residing on Maui, she has over two decades of experience in social service programs along with years of supervisory experience, including both government and non-profit management. It is through these capacities that Dr. Daniels has worked closely with Hawai‘i’s unique and diverse population to overcome inequities.
Sheri is actively involved in various community and civic organizations locally, nationally and internationally. She was recently added to the International Indigenous Council for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide in 2018. In 2019, Dr. Daniels was added to both the Advisory Council on Minority Health (Office on Minority Health) and the Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention & Control Advisory Board.
Dr. Daniels is one of the co-leads for the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawaiʻi COVID19 Response, Recovery, Resilience Team that involves over 30 organizations throughout Hawaiʻi that is focused on addressing the needs and advocating for these communities.
A graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Dr. Daniels received her bachelor’s in family resources from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She carries a master’s in counseling psychology from Chaminade University of Honolulu, in addition to a doctorate from Argosy University, and currently holds several license certifications.
David Derauf, MD, MPH
Executive Director/Family Practice Physician, Kokua Kalihi Valley
David D. Derauf, MD, MPH has been with Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (KKV) for the last 31 years. In 1989, he was hired as KKV’s first Clinical Director and remained in this position until being named as KKV’s Executive Director in October, 2003. Dr. Derauf received his medical training at the University of Minnesota. He moved to Hawai‘i in 1989 to pursue public health training and received his MPH from the University of Hawai‘i in 1995, with a focus on epidemiology.
Dr. Derauf has served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health, Medicine, and Nursing at the University of Hawai‘i. He serves as a board member of the Association of Asian and Pacific Island Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, and Aloha Care, a Hawai‘i Medicaid Managed Care Corporation, as well as Hawai‘i Appleseed. He is also a founding member of Nā Limahana o Lonopūhā, a consortium of Native Hawaiian Health Organizations.
Under his leadership, KKV was named a Center of Excellence in Women’s health care by the Federal Government in 2002. In 2008 KKV was honored by HRSA with its Special Populations Service Award, recognizing KKV’s excellence in service to minority populations. In 2009, he was chosen by the Director of Health to represent Hawai‘i on the inaugural California-Hawai‘i Public Health Leadership Institute Team. He was given a Gerbode-Hawai‘i Community Foundation Award for non-profit leadership in 2008 and three times received a Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation Award for Excellence in Management.
He is married, has two sons who he likes to get out in the surf with from time to time.
Aimee Malia Grace, MD, MPH, FAAP
Director, UH System Office of Strategic Health Initiatives
Dr. Aimee Malia Grace serves as Director of the UH System Office of Strategic Health Initiatives. She leads the UHealthy Hawai‘i Initiative as well as UH System federal affairs. Dr. Grace is a pediatrician and previously served for three years as lead health policy advisor for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz in Washington, D.C. where she managed Senator Schatz’s legislative work in the health field, including the areas of telehealth, Medicaid buy‐in, Tobacco to 21, Project ECHO, public health emergency preparedness, and chronic pain. She also managed Senator Schatz’s budget and appropriations for health programs of importance to Hawai‘i and Native Hawaiians. Dr. Grace completed her undergraduate studies in human biology at Stanford University, medical degree at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, pediatrics residency at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Master of Public Health (Health Policy and Management) degree at the Harvard School of Public Health, and General Academic Pediatrics (Health Policy) fellowship at the Children’s National Health System.
Jodi Haunani Leslie, DrPH, RDN, LDN, CDCES
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist
Dr. Jodi Haunani Leslie Matsuo is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, with training in Integrative and Functional Nutrition. She began her professional career as a Public Health Nutritionist and Supervisor with the Hawai‘i Department of Health. Dr. Leslie instructed at Hawai‘i Community College-West Hawai‘i, University of Hawai‘i (UH) Hilo, and UH Mānoa, teaching nutrition, kinesiology, and public health classes. Under the mentorship and training of Dr. Claire Hughes, she has worked within traditional Hawaiian diet programs across the state. Starting with ʻImi Hale, she has done research on Native Hawaiian workers and employee wellness programs. Her clinical experience includes internships at Queen’s Medical Center and Tripler Army Medical Center, and then later in other acute, long-term care, and cardiac rehabilitative facilities. Dr. Leslie has been contracted by entities including Papa Ola Lōkahi, Hana and West Hawai‘i Community Health Centers, Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, Hawai‘i Department of Education, UH-John A. Burns School of Medicine, YMCA, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Her responsibilities ranged from development of nutrition and health curricula, educational materials, and surveys, facilitation of working groups, and clinical consultation. She was a member of the E Ola Mau A Mau nutrition workgroup and currently serves as the health columnist for Ka Wai Ola, a newspaper of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and member of the UH Cancer Center Native Hawaiian Advisory Board. At Kukui Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, she works with her husband in promoting lifestyle medicine as a means of preventing, treating, and reversing chronic diseases. Dr. Leslie volunteers her time doing cooking demos and nutrition talks at local schools, churches, and community groups. Being born and raised in Kona Hawai‘i, her passion has always been serving Native Hawaiians and rural communities.
Lorrin Kim, MAAS
Chief, Office Planning, Policy & Programs, State of Hawai’i Dept. of Health
Lorrin Kim is the Chief of the Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Development at the Hawaii State Department of Health. Lorrin is responsible for agency-wide government relations and public policy, strategic planning, compliance and performance improvement, and special projects. Department priorities supported by his office over the years include telehealth, medical aid in dying, rural health, oral health, community paramedicine, medical cannabis dispensaries, healthcare workforce development, and health equity. As of late 2020, he is also the Acting State Registrar overseeing the state’s vital records program.
Before government service, part of his twenty-year career in health was spent in private sector managed care and health care systems, focusing on health information technology, chronic disease prevention, and behavioral health. Lorrin holds bachelor’s degrees in Asian Studies and History from the Claremont Colleges system, and a master’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai‘i, with concentrations in Japanese cultural history, religion, and art.
Janis A. Reischmann, MSW, MBA
Executive Director, Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation
Ms. Janis A. Reischmann is the executive director of Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation, an independent grantmaking foundation with offices in Honolulu. She has served in this capacity since April, 2008 and was hired as the Foundation’s first staff member. In this capacity she has overseen all aspects of the development of the Foundation’s grantmaking and operations, working closely with its board of directors. In 2011, Janis was asked to serve as a member of the Foundation’s board. The Foundation makes grants primarily in Hawai‘i but also has a small international grantmaking program. Most of its grantmaking is focused on children and environmental issues. Currently the Foundation has a full time staff of five and in 2013, an annual grants budget of approximately $7.5 million. Ms. Reischmann brings to her role more than twenty-five years of work in the nonprofit sector. She was the vice president for Hawai‘i’s statewide community foundation overseeing its grantmaking and private foundation services and led a consulting firm specializing in organizational and project development. She served as adjunct faculty at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health where she taught community development. She has masters degrees in social work and business administration, both from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In her deep commitment to our community, she has served on various nonprofit boards; was a founding member of the Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i; serves on the advisory board of Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center; and was recently invited to serve as a member of the board of the Keith and Judy Swayne Foundation.
Mr. Nainoa Thompson
President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society
Charles Nainoa Thompson, President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, is a pwo (master) navigator and the first Native Hawaiian since the 14th Century to practice wayfinding (art and science of ancient non-instrument navigation) for long distance ocean voyaging.
Nainoa’s years of experience and learning from his kūpuna have culminated in the realization of his vision of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, led by the Polynesian Voyaging Society and blessed by global leaders including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This 3-year, extraordinary voyage which was completed in June 2017, engaged and united all corners of Island Earth, sailing 47,000 nautical miles to nearly 100 ports and 25 nations. Its purpose was to practice sustainable living while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other and creating hope and global relationships around protecting our most cherished values and places from disappearing.
A leader in transforming education, Nainoa is the Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member of Mālama Honua Public Charter School, established in 2014 and dedicated to indigenous cultural values reflected in value- and place-based education. Nainoa is a former Regent of the University of Hawai‘i where he remains deeply connected as Special Advisor on Hawaiian Affairs to the University President. He is an Ocean Elder, a Trustee for Hanahau`oli School and a former Trustee for Bishop Estate, Hawai‘i’s largest private land owner and private educational institution. His natural leadership skills that have galvanized vast and diverse sectors throughout the community to realize the importance of caring for our planet and all of humanity have earned him numerous awards including the 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Marine Exploration, the 2001 “Unsung Hero of Compassion” award from his Holiness XIV Dalai Lama on behalf of Wisdom in Action, the Native Hawaiian Education Association’s Manomano Ka`ike Educator of the Year, the 2015 Asia Pacific Community Building Award from the East-West Center, the 2013 Visionary Award from the Maui Film Festival, the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, the 2017 Hubbard Medal from National Geographic Society, and the 2017 Explorers Club Medal. Born and raised in Honolulu, Nainoa is a graduate of Punahou School and the University of Hawai‘i.