Meet the 2017 Kuleana Academy participants!

HAPA and its Education Alliance Partners have launched the second round of Kuleana Academy, a leadership development and non-partisan candidate training program for emerging leaders in Hawai‘i.


Mahalo to the Atherton Family Foundation for their support of Kuleana Academy!

The Kuleana Academy is designed to educate and train emerging leaders who have a desire to serve in public office through a three-part education:

  1. A well-rounded introduction to critical issues in Hawai’i;
  2. Training in campaign fundamentals such as canvassing, campaign fundraising, and campaign finance reporting, as well as skills in speech and debate, media interviews, and social media; and
  3. Personal leadership development.

Academy participants will also hear from a diverse cross-section of elected officials on their experiences in running for, and serving in, public office (including former Governor Neil Abercrombie).

Participating in the Kuleana Academy is what really finalized my decision to run for office. Learning from all the experienced legislators first-hand and networking with future leaders from around the islands are experiences that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
— Jon Wong, Kuleana Academy 2016 Participant

The 2017 Kuleana Academy topics and trainers include:  

  • Personal leadership development led by Mason Chock (Former Executive Director of Leadership Kaua`i, County Council Member, and President of Kupu A’e).
  • Introduction to the governmental and law-making process led by Gary Gill (Former Honolulu City Council Member, formerly Environmental Deputy of the State Department of Health and head of the Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control).
  • Media/Press training led by Dawn Morais Webster Ph.D. (Mediaand communications consultant, and adjunct faculty at Shidler School of Business, UH Mānoa).
  • Public speaking and speech training led by John Bickel (Former press secretary for U.S. Representative Patsy Mink, and award winning speech and debate coach)
  • Boards and Commissions Leadership by Annette Koh (Ph.D. candidate in Urban & Regional Planning atUH Mānoa)
Kuleana Academy is dynamic and collaborative. It builds the capacity of emerging leaders who have a strong desire to effectively serve the public. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about different views and build a strong and diverse network with some of Hawai’i’s brightest leaders. This program will drive positive change in Hawai’i.
— Sandra Kau‘i Pratt-Aquino, Esq., Attorney (O‘ahu)

                                      Opening Reception for 2017 Kuleana Academy with guest speaker Rep. Chris Lee.


 Kuleana Academy is a leadership development program that includes campaign training for potential candidates. HAPA and the Alliance Education Partners take no position with regards to the support or opposition for any specific candidate, regardless of their participation in the Academy or not.

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